Tuesday is for Teachers, Parents, and Grandparents
A year ago Angela Duckworth gave a TED Talk entitled “The Key to Success? Grit“. In case you have never heard of TED, it is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less).TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design.
Angela’s ideas were formed after leaving a management consulting job to teach math to 7th graders. After five years in the classroom she went back to school and now conducts research on Grit at the University of Pennsylvania. She says this about Grit,
Grit is sticking with your future — day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years — and working really hard to make that future a reality.
Listen to her TED Talk here. It’s only six minutes of your time.
Recent research from several sources agree that over-praising children has negative effects. Learning to struggle, learning to start over when you fail, sticking to it when things get tough — that’s the idea of grit. This is not a new trend, just new to two or three generations of kids. It was expected when I went to school. Giving up was not an option. Duckworth says grit is an even better indicator of success than IQ or family income.
If you are a teacher reading this, let’s all roll your eyes together and say, “Well, DUH!” We see it over and over. The students who make the best grades are not always the smartest or the most talented; they are the ones who PERSEVERE.
Want to see how much grit you have? Take this survey from the University of Pennsylvania.
Want to help your students, your children, or grandchildren learn lessons on Perseverance?
Children’s books are an easy place to start. Last week’s book review of Galimoto is an example of a child with perseverance. Here are a few more picture books:
- Alexander and the Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day – Viorst
- Amazing Grace – Hoffman
- Apple Picking Time – Slawson
- Brave Irene – Steig
- Chair for My Mother – Williams
- How Many Days to America – Bunting
- Knots on a Counting Rope – Martin
For older children who are reading chapter books, these two are excellent: Hatchet by Paulson and Helen Keller (there are several chapter books on her life).
I’ll be writing more posts and book suggestions on this topic — I believe it is important to all who are concerned about helping children reach their full potential and become responsible citizens of our country.
I am thankful for memories of reading these books to my daughter when she was young as well as reading them to my students.