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GRIT

Our faculty and staff began Teacher Prep Week today, eager to prepare for the start of the new school year. Mr. Volker started the meeting by introducing the new faculty and welcoming them into our community. All were welcomed wholeheartedly. It was a great way to start the day.

This was followed with a presentation by Susan Wais, Ph.D. about GRIT, defined as “perseverance and passion for long-term goals.” She talked a great deal about how grit is a better measure of success than intelligence or talent. In fact, research has shown that if intelligence is not accompanied by grit, promise of achievement is significantly diminished.

We listened intently about how to “teach” grit. First of all, she stated that her studies of Applied Positive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania were the basis for this presentation. What underlies grit is a “growth mindset.” The qualities of a “growth mindset,” as opposed to a “fixed mindset,” are that you believe that you can always change substantially and that abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. As role models and standard bearers, adults should:

  • Be models of grittiness
  • Offer challenges, ones that are attainable but require some sustained effort
  • Teach children to handle and learn from mistakes
  • Encourage optimism
  • Help children find their passion

She recommended that the adults in a child’s life should praise effort and perseverance, stating that study after study has shown that success and self-esteem are earned, not given. Students who succeed in accomplishing their goals are those that take advantage of opportunities to develop to their “highest and fullest potentials,” as has been a Warren-Walker School goal for years. Emphasize the progress made, not the grades on the report card.

Our gritty faculty is ready to bring out the best in each of their students, and help them all achieve success this year… and for a lifetime.

Posted by pvolker on Tuesday August, 27, 2013

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