As we prepare our students for the jobs of tomorrow, we are keenly aware of the uncertain and quickly-changing landscape of the workplace. We are tasked with preparing children with the skills necessary for jobs that might not even exist yet. When evaluating current research, it is now apparent that good grades don’t always equal success in the 21st-century workforce. It is now evident that “grit” is the largest indicator for success when looking at the long-term outlook of a person. Grit is defined as a non-cognitive trait based on an individual’s passion for a particular long-term goal or end state, coupled with a powerful motivation to achieve their respective objective. Simply put, grit is the amount of perseverance a person demonstrates; the willingness to fail and start over again.
Overcoming frustration and failure can be very difficult. As a school, Five Oaks Academy fosters grit in our students by creating an environment that embraces failure as a means to success. Through guidance, students learn to step back and reflect on their failures. They start to ask questions like “Why did this not go the way I wanted it to?” and “What can I do differently next time”? We allow our students to have successful failures by viewing failure not as a negative but as a positive, as learning. Being able to reflect and learn from one’s failures allows students to grow in their understanding of themselves as well as their abilities to problem solve and persevere.
Angela Lee Duckworth has a fascinating TED talk entitled “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance “https://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duckworth_grit_the_power_of_passion_and_perseverance. In this talk, she emphasizes the importance of grit, passion, perseverance, and “stick-to-it-ness”; the universal skills for success.
Many very successful people like Steven Spielberg, Michael Jordan, JK Rowlins failed many, many times before becoming who they are today. At Five Oaks Academy, we provide an environment that supports and gives students may opportunities to develop their “true grit”.