It’s the beginning of the new school year, and our school is “transitioning.” No, not like that. We are lucky enough to be the recipients of a massive renovation, and we’re changing the culture of our school with a new administrative staff. Is it feeling a little chaotic? You bet. Are these good problems to have? You bet.
This is going to be a long year filled with construction, detours, displaced classrooms, floating teachers, faulty technology, and well, the unknown. But you know what? It’s an opportunity to model “grit,” which is Angela Duckworth’s term for perseverance and tenacity. Duckworth once described it as follows: “If it’s important for you to become one of the best people in your field, you are going to have to stick with it when it’s hard.”
There were so many last-minute problems to solve this week that our tech staff, custodial staff, and administrative staff couldn’t solve them all. It forced the teachers to solve their own problems and take care of business. And we did.
I’m fortunate to be surrounded by teachers who are determined to give their students a quality education and to achieve their program’s long-term goals in spite of any obstacles they might face. I’ll admit, I don’t know how to teach grit… I doubt you’ll see it on one of my lesson plans. I can model it indirectly, though. The way I anticipate problems and the way I react to problems might be the best teaching I do all year.
It’s going to be a hard year, but it’s going to be the kind of year that separates “the best” from “the good.”