The Key to Success: Grit

Posted By Amy Helms
key-to-success
You do not have to be an education researcher to know that there is much more to success in school and life than a high IQ. We all know talented individuals who procrastinate until the eleventh hour, or who flame out under pressure. New research is proving what common sense has long told us: noncognitive skills, including effort, diligence, and perseverance, are an important determiner of our children’s futures.
You do not have to be an education researcher to know that there is much more to success in school and life than a high IQ. We all know talented individuals who procrastinate until the eleventh hour, or who flame out under pressure. New research is proving what common sense has long told us: noncognitive skills, including effort, diligence, and perseverance, are an important determiner of our children’s futures.
In recent weeks, fifth graders at St. Andrew’s have been feeling the pressure! Students have been required to take on added responsibility for a few long-term projects. Maybe your fifth grader struggled to interview 20 people for their science project, or was frustrated by drawing graphs for the math project. How did they react to these obstacles? Were they able to bounce back from setbacks? In the coming weeks, we will be focusing on how to build students’ perseverance and effort. In class meetings, we will lead students through a series of conversations on developing resilience and grit.
Psychology researcher, Angela Lee Duckworth, defines grit as passion and commitment to a long-term goal. Her six minute TED Talk is worth a look. Duckworth contends that teaching children that challenges can be an opportunity for growth can help children build grit. In fifth grade, we will talk about developing a toolkit of strategies to use when feeling overwhelmed. Students can try taking a break, talking themselves through it, or trying to approach the problem in a different way.
This weekend, talk to your children about strategies you use when you face setbacks in your life, and how you have seen them persevere in the face of setbacks in the past? Let’s help our fifth graders “get gritty”!

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