Angela Duckworth, a former math teacher, has dedicated her life to trying to figure out what makes someone successful. When she was in the classroom, she found herself wondering why a student who was really smart didn’t do as well as someone with average intelligence. She set out to figure out why some people make it through college or military training and others don’t. Guess what she found was the biggest difference? GRIT!
So what is grit? Ms. Duckworth defines it as “the ability to PERSEVERE in pursuing a future goal over a long period of time and NOT GIVING UP…It is having STAMINA. It’s sticking with your future, day-in and day-out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years and WORKING REALLY HARD to make that future a reality.” Simply put, it is PERSEVERANCE and PASSION all rolled into one.
This year we will encourage our students to look at their long-term goals and help them to not get stuck and give up along the way. We will focus on teaching our students that instead of looking at failure as a bad thing, they should choose to learn from their mistakes. Just because a student doesn’t do well on one assignment does not mean that he or she cannot do well on the next. We will ask our students to set goals for themselves and then keep pursuing those goals without giving up.
There are many examples in the Bible of people who had grit. God told Noah to build an ark even though he had never seen it rain on the earth. Noah was obedient and spent decades building this huge ship. Now that’s grit. Moses wandered around for 40 years in the wilderness as he waited for the fulfillment of God’s promises. Again, grit.
It is not easy to persevere when things are difficult. Even the Apostle Paul struggled, asking God to remove from him the “thorn in the flesh.” People have different theories about what this might have been, but what we do know is that Paul pleaded with God to take it from him. God’s response is contained in our verse for the year. God told Paul that His grace was all that Paul needed to persevere. He also told him that God’s power is perfected in weakness. It is God’s power that allows us to persevere in times of difficulty. God promises us that when we are weak, He is strong.
The famous Christian pastor and writer, Chuck Swindoll, explains it this way. When the Apostle Paul was being beaten and threatened with death, when he could barely handle the circumstances he found himself in, Paul focused on God’s ability to handle the problems. He found supernatural strength by looking up and admitting that he wasn’t able to make it on his own. He knew that he had to rely on God alone. The secret to Paul’s endurance was his divine perspective.
Ms. Fitcher showed a short video to the elementary students that explains grit. Perhaps you would like to look at it and see this simple explanation.
In 2018-2019, we would like to ask you to help us show our students what it means to GROW IN GRIT AND GRACE.
Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon Brobst, Director