Work habits. I think this is one of the things that I always saw as a sure sign of student success. Do they try? After they fail, do they try again or is this it?
Reading levels,homework submissions, creative intellectual dialogs, and more; this is typically what I have used to gauge student grit and work habits.
Today, during our amazing madness of our Design Expo I think I have a different perspective. When all was said and done, we were tired, and calling for our beds, it decided to downpour. Being in a terrible drought, we are all very excited. Noticing 100 chairs, speakers, tables, and more that could be ruined by this rain, our excitement was quieted just a bit.
Hurry hurry hurry. This is what I pictured us adults doing as we were going to tackle the issue. Before I knew it, there were students everywhere, silently doing what they could, then asking what else they could do. The students that I witnessed weren’t previously students that I would categorize as the hardest working kids.
The students also did something that really had me intrigued. Often in the classroom, the question of, “What do I get out of this” is usually something they blatantly say or we just know they are thinking. Why should THEY do this for US?! This question didn’t come up. Not once. Not once did they expect something in return.
Could it be that they have pride in their school? Could it be that they have found a fun, safe place that they WANT to take care of the things that belong to them? Is that enough of a reason for an 11-14 year old to comprehend? Something to ponder.. why now, what is it about these events that make kids step up in ways I haven’t necessarily seen?
Also, this had me asking myself what I consider “hardworking?” How do I gauge that in my room? What is grit and how does a student prove that they have grit to persevere?
Maybe I need to reevaluate what effort, hard work, and grit look like. Maybe I need to provide more opportunities to show me what they ARE capable of. But how do we do this.. something to ponder as our exciting night ends!