Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Day 19 My Students Have Grit


On the Free Technology for Teachers Facebook, the twenty day blogging challenge created by Kelly Hines was mentioned and I decided to give it a shot. So here is the challenge for today:

“Share a topic/idea from class this week. What’s one thing you did with students this week that you will (or will not) do again? Why?”

I think a great topic to teach in class is about Grit.

In the article "True Grit: The Best Measure of Success and How to Teach it, Vicki Davis talks about students having/needing grit. Then she asks,

“Can you teach grit?”

First of all, what do I think grit is? No, I’m not talking about the breakfast food served in the south. I’m talking about toughness in a person. For me, when I think of this, I picture John Wayne sitting on a horse. For me, grit is fighting to overcome obstacles.

I think many people actually have grit but it is hidden. They are taught at a young age to hide this grit. Focus is made to conform and to fit in. We are taught this from our teachers and our parents. Then when we get older, we are actually taught this by our peers. Eventually we learn to hide it even more when we get to the workplace because we want to keep our jobs.

Many people don’t realize what we need to do to overcome our personal obstacles. The main reason is that others don’t walk in our shoes. We feel that letting others know about our struggles is a sign of weakness so we don’t share about our struggles.

Most of my students with disabilities are the strongest people in the world and they don’t know it. They have spent so much time feeling beaten down and feeling bad because they don’t always fit the norm. Yet, they have faced and overcome more obstacles than most people will ever face in their life time. These students don’t give up. They persevere and continue to face uphill battles every day of their lives. Their struggles don’t end when they graduate high school but takes on a whole new life of its own.

I think it is important for many of us to give ourselves a pat on the back and recognize the hardships we have overcome to get where we are. We are really the only ones who know all about ourselves. Many times we push the hard times behind us because we don’t want to remember all the hard times. It is actually the hard times that define us and make us who we are.

So, I think the bottom line is that I don’t believe we need to teach it. I think we need to teach our students to recognize it. It is already out there but we just don’t know it. We don’t celebrate it and we should.

I believe that is the people who have grit are going to be the real survivors in the world. Not the ones who are beaten down easily or follow others without thinking about the consequences. Grit can’t be taught because it already exists.

Image: 'Why yes, yes that is John Wayne'
Found on

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