I am blessed with the opportunity to teach students who are driven to want to achieve. As newly arrived immigrants and refugees given a new chance to make a new world for themselves, motivating them to work hard is rarely a problem. But now that I’m teaching a slightly higher level of students, those who have been in the system for about a year, I have had the opportunity to see how some of my earlier students are faring after a year.
A few are losing their way, especially when they are older (about 18) and see how frustratingly slow their progress is. All they want to do is get into mainstream as soon as possible, before they are too old to fit in. This is how I see the relevance of this issue of teaching grit. Watch this video Duckworth at Ted Talks featuring Angela Lee Duckworth on Ted Talks as she talks about grit. Then look at how this concept is incorporated by a teacher in the classroom in this video Teaching grit posted on edutopia.org.
This term my english unit focuses on biographies. As always, I have built the programme with the constant awareness that students must see their learning as relevant to themselves. I have deliberately chosen characters who can be relevant to my students own experiences. I will begin my unit, looking at Amelia Earhart, and tying it to my students desire to do something more with their lives and with a look at the role of women and the dreams that women should be allowed to pursue. Within the video, there is a reference to the need to being useful in our aspirations for our future. That is a take that I will be incorporating into my programme too.
Scroll down the editorial.org page of this post on Teaching grit for a curriculum pdf and some other useful resources.