5 Steps to Foster Grit in the Classroom

Image credit: Veer

The word “grit” suggests toughness and determination. The question is how do we get students to value struggle, failure and perseverance in our classrooms? ASCD recently published Thomas Hoerr’s short but great book on this subject, Fostering Grit. The subtitle “How do I prepare my students for the real world?” reflects the fact that our students will encounter challenging work and problems to solve. If this is the case, our classrooms should mirror that process and prepare our students to be successful in meeting these challenges. You might consider this a critical 21st century skill, which means that we need to scaffold the related skills we’re teaching our students.

  • Model Grit  Modeling is a crucial component in teaching skills to students. Many teachers use modeling to teach reading skills, which will be crucial as students encounter more and more complex text.
  • Don’t Grade Formative Assessments  If you punish students in the learning process, then they are less likely to engage with it. Grit requires that there are multiple stages in the learning process and that the journey of learning is valued.
  • Authentic Products  When they create real work that has value, they are more likely to create high quality work. And students are more likely to improve their work when they know there is an authentic audience for the authentic work.
  • Ongoing Revision and Reflection  Build in sacred time to revise work and reflect upon the learning. If we want students to value grit, they need to see learning as a journey, and we need to give them time to reflect about the challenges they’ve faced, and the mistakes and revisions they’ve made.
  • Celebrate Success  When we persevere, we need to celebrate the success. We often don’t take time to celebrate the challenging work we’ve completed. Sometimes we feel that our schedule forces us to immediately move on with the next unit of instruction.

Read the entire article by Andrew Miller on Edutopia at http://www.edutopia.org/blog/foster-grit-in-classroom-andrew-miller

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