Monday, July 22, 2013

Chapter 5: Perseverance

Perseverance. It's hard to continue working on something or toward a goal if you are not succeeding. I like Angela's quote in the Chapter Takeaway: "I want students walking away with one big idea: they are stronger than they think they are." How do you teach perseverance in your classroom? Do you intentionally model perseverance to your students? What are some goals that you have in teaching or modeling perseverance this year?

15 comments:

  1. Perseverance is a difficult one to teach and I know that I am not "teaching" it as a subject or unit in my classrooms. Therefore, I would say that it is modeled in my classroom more than it is taught.

    My students are always working on persevering in the classes that I teach just because it is a part of the "hidden" curriculum. With my AVID students we are constantly stressing perseverance by enrolling and participating in rigorous courses that they many times throughout the school year want to drop when the times get tough and, of course, there is the college admission process that we are always discussing in the AVID classroom. In addition, my Work-Based Learning students are many times faced with the perseverance issue in their jobs when they become discouraged or feel that they can't perform to the level that their supervisors, employers and I are asking of them.

    I find myself in conversations about perseverance many times each week throughout the school year with my students.

    As for this coming school year, I will continue to model perseverance in my classroom and have conversations as needed when circumstances arrive with my students.

    ReplyDelete
  2. One way to find time to teach this habitude in elementary school would be to do a biography study on people who have showed perseverance in their lives. This would give the students real life examples of people showing the habitude of perseverance. You could use the list of people on p. 77 as a starting point.

    I think it is very important to discuss failure as Maiers suggests. Failure is a part of learning and life, and it benefits our students to learn to grow during times of failure. Modeling and sharing this is very important. I need to be sure to model both perseverance and failure for my students next school year.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I believe Maiers Chapter takeaway says it all. We all go home wanting and hoping that our students will succeed, whether it is great or small. Many students are products of perserverance, their own. They have managed to arrive at school despite difficult lives at home. In my general music classes, once we start to learn to play guitar, I get a lot of "I can't do this or I can't do that." I then show the students a video of Tony Melendez who has no arms and plays his guitar with his feet. A great video to show perserverance. After that my students have no problem with perservering. I never allow them to be defeated and if nothing else they know that I am perservering because I won't let them give up on themselves. We all work at perserving.

    In my choral classes, it is the words of encouragement and to keep trying. It is the model of perservering. We will get there. We will get the parts learned. We will perserver. We don't give up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great example of using the video. Often those types of things can be so much more effective than anything we might say. It also allows them to internalize and personalize what they see.

      Delete
  4. My favorite quote from this chapter was- "perseverance is not a magical quality but a mindset- an attitude- of how we view obstacles in our life. I think this is key when modeling and teaching perseverance. As I read this chapter, I too, pictured students in my classroom from last year that more than once expressed their frustration with learning and easily gave up.

    I do intentionally share obstacles or frustrations that I experience on a daily basis- and validate the idea that not everything is easy in life. Additionally, I teach the concept that's it's okay to make mistakes- that's how we learn. Unfortunately, not all students buy into that philosophy. Sometimes it's much easier to quit- it requires less work. That's the hurdle I need to work through. How do I turn those students around, so that they understand failure must occur before success can be realized?

    This year, I plan to use some of the suggested questions and activities as suggested in this chapter. There are great examples shared in the chapter that I feel students can relate to, as well. I personally have experienced a lot of failure and sometimes think to myself- is it worth it. It is definitely a mindset- it is truly about how you view the obstacles in your life. Perseverance is an attitude that I hope to continue modeling for my students and for myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Paula:
      I'm glad you mention the mindset as well. With more attention being paid to Dweck's idea of mindset and how it can be influenced/improved, I think there is a lot that teachers can do. Of course, when Angela used the example of giving them a toy that was difficult to open, I wondered how many of them would relate that to watching a parent trying to open electronics in what seems like cast-iron plastic!

      Delete
  5. I spend a lot of time with my seniors talking about all that they have overcome to get to their senior years. It is in those conversations that their understanding and awareness of what it means to persevere. I keep going back to the idea of "grit" and what it means to have grit...In our conversations, it becomes obvious that we are all gritty--we all have made it through situations and overcame obstacles to make it through each day.

    I model this idea a lot with the work we do--I love tech so we try lots of it out in my room. Sometimes it works well, and sometimes it does not, but we keep at it. We persevere...together...to make it through. I want that to be a lesson that extends beyond tech to each and every aspect of their lives. I think that attitude will benefit them in so many ways.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love this idea of discussing perseverance with seniors. It would even work with my 6th graders- even at the tender age of 11, many kids are WAY older than their years and have endured a lifetime of challenges. It shows respect to acknowledge their perseverance and struggles, and it gives hope for the future to be proud of them thus far.

      Delete
  6. I really think I model perseverance as a habit while I am with the kids. I really have never been one to give up easily, so I think for a lot of teachers we do this automatically.

    A couple of years ago I was taking an online class. My students were aware that I was taking a class. It was hard work doing this outside of class, and keeping up with everything at home and at school. However, my students were so interested in my class, my assignments, and how I was doing! When this class was finished I even took two more that year. The kids knew that I had to spend a lot of time during the evenings, on my weekends, etc.

    Also, we always talk about things their parents are doing, like building a new example when we have a chance. When kids are watching this happen they have new examples of their parent's perseverance of getting land ready, putting a well in, building a foundation, etc.

    One way to encourage perseverance is by giving the students assignments or projects that require it, and then actually giving them time to work on it without rushing them. We need to give them time to practice this habitude.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I agree with my fellow bloggers to find natural avenues that build our student's understanding of the habitude, perseverance. We need to positively stretch the definition of failure for both our students and parents. I challenge us as educators to find occasions to share the importance of failure with our student's parents. I have a family member that was not given the opportunities needed to fail. Many times the parents interceded in the child's educational process not allowing failure to take its natural course. Now, when life gets tough, this person backs away, not failing or succeeding.

    At the end of the chapters, in the Resources for Students, I am realizing that the same books are mentioned. This excites me, as most often, I am creating my own curriculum for my students with special needs.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have never really thought about teaching perseverance, but as others have said it is something that is modeled and discussed as a characteristic. I think one way that I see perseverance in my classroom is students working hard to learn their multiplication and division facts. When we do this they are start out with the easy ones and work there way up to the hard ones. Most students like the challenge and if they get stuck on a fact family, really work hard to get past it. What I have noticed in my own life and watching my students that when you really have to work hard for something, the rewards are greater. I think it is important for me as teacher to help challenge my students but also to provide the scaffolding for them to be successful.

    I loved the idea of letting the students open a toy. Being the mother of two little boys we have lots of times when you have to really work to get the packaging off, and then sometimes there are actual screws holding the toy in. I would like to try that with my students and see what they would do. I also want to try to notice all of my hard workers; sometimes a quiet student is working hard but is not as vocal about it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I liked the beginning statement about success is not always the mountains we climb but rather our ability to handle the pebbles in our way. How many students give up quickly when something starts to be challenge instead of working through a little pebble in their way?

    I have not thought about teaching perseverance before, it is something that needs to be taught.I do try to encourage students and I have shown perseverance by not giving up on them. I see where teaching about persevere would help students understand the need to keep trying even though it is getting difficult. As students start to work through the "pebbles" they will see how strong they are and that they can do it.

    I am going to incorporate teaching the habitudes in the beginning of the school year with my students and then review them through out the rest of the school year. I am also going find ways to display them in the classroom so that not only the group of students that I work with see them, but also the other students that will come in the room.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I teach 8th Grade students. Our mission is to get them ready for high school. We talk constantly about what that means and what that looks like. We have them use goal sheets for academics and personal issues. We take time during the school year to to write about their goal or goals and what they are doing and what they need to keep doing to achieve them.

    This year all students will have a lap top computer and I plan on modeling Perseverance as I learn to incorporate the technology into my lessons. I will be able to share my goals and my struggles and accomplishments throughout the year.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sorry I'm late chiming in on this discussion- my family has had some surgery and health things going on, so I missed a week. But better late than never- I guess that's the point of perseverance.

    One way I show students perseverance is by not giving up myself. When the technology in my room doesn't work, I come up with plan B and C and D and E and F and G- I don't give up, I find SOMETHING that will work for us to do in class, even if my original plan went askew. And I also encourage them to improve and grow. We measure and celebrate continual improvement, believing that perfect scores CAN be obtained even on the hardest assessments. I let students redo projects and quizzes for a better grade. I also demand that a student try again if they didn't give it their best effort the first time and failed. We meet quarterly to set achievement goals and discuss how we are progressing towards those goals. I share my own teacher goals (we are on RISE and use SLO) and we talk about how I work to meet those goals and learn on the way. I constantly share new things I am learning.

    For those of you with laptops and Ipads and new technology, that's a huge lesson in perseverance for us and for our students. My school is on year 3 with teaching with laptops in the middle school. SOOOOOOOOOOOO much easier to start school this year with my 6th graders than in the past- a real example that perseverance does have rewards and pays off, after a couple of years of struggle and rocky starts. HOPE is so important!

    ReplyDelete
  12. My favorite things in this chapter were the quote that you mentioned, and the chart "What I Do and Possible Results" I liked the idea that the outcomes shared were all positive. Trying to select just one thing for thirty days seems doable; the teacher can model that and try along with the students. I would add some more "less famous" people, hopefully some local interest stories, because many times the same examples of famous people are used over and over again. (Not that they are not worthy)
    And, how much does our testing culture contribute to the feeling of failure? It's right or nothing. The idea of introducing the lesson about failure was intriguing. It might not be easy for some teachers to list recent failures for their students. (In middle school, some students seem to want to volunteer to help with a list like that.)

    ReplyDelete