General Education


Mindset Moment: February
Perseverance and Grit

Last month I talked about how we want to value making mistakes and learning from the opportunities they present. In order to do this, students need to practice perseverance. defines perseverance as “steady persistence in a course of action especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles or discouragement.” If we want to help students learn to be successful, they have to keep going, even when the going gets tough.

One of the easiest ways to encourage this is to have them focus on what they are telling themselves or their “self-talk”. When faced with a hurdle or obstacle, instead of saying negative things, remind your student to say things like “I can do this” or “I’ll get this next time”.

Taking this to the next step is thinking about “grit”. Angela Duckworth is a leading expert in the field and she defines grit as “perseverance and passion for long term goals.” She stresses that deliberate practice is one of the key indicators of success long term. We want our students to form a core belief that “with enough deliberate practice and dedication to a task, they can make incredible strides.”

One roadblock students often run into is the idea that some people are naturally talented or gifted with an ability and that is the only reason they are successful. While we know that God has given us different areas of natural strength, when operating from a growth mindset we realize that anyone can get better if they put the work in. I encourage you to watch the Nike commercial “Failure” featuring Michael Jordan. (There is a link down below.) He talks about how persevering through failure is what made him successful long term. Brock and Hundley state, “Society likes to relish the notion that some people are born for greatness. But as students research and start uncovering the truth about how much sweat and toil, how many hours, how many failures go into creating a master, they’ll understand the dogged dedication to a long-term goal required to achieve greatness.

The message we want students to walk away with is that nothing really comes easy for anyone. Once they have this information, they can get down to the business of achieving goals with grit and perseverance.”
~Mrs. Aker

Coming in March “How to Praise Your Child”

Check out this video for more information: Michael Jordan Nike Commercial “Failure” or check out Angela Duckworth discussing Grit
The following videos about a persevering llama or Ormie the pig are great conversation starters!