May 24, 2016
While helping a child develop reading skills, there is another life skill being taught at the same time, grit. In Angela Duckworth’s new book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, she discusses how passion is often developed through hard work and positive encouragement and feedback from a capable teacher. The passion for doing more is a direct correlation to the effort and joy from improvement. We have seen this development time and again, and there is no better gift to a child then setting them up for a life time of success.
Angela makes it clear that grit can be developed, especially when effort translates to success. We know this is true, as we have seen this at our office many times. When a reluctant reader first comes to us, they often struggle at first to sit for any length of time and work on something that is hard for them. But, as lessons progress, this same student attends for longer and longer lengths of time. And later on, this student eventually shows us an accomplishment, like reading a long difficult book, which they completed independently outside our office.
This process begins when one of our capable teachers prepares an engaging lesson followed by praise for the child’s efforts. After each lessons there after, the teacher shows how a student’s efforts are proving to strengthen their skills. Then after a number of lessons, the teacher takes the time to refer their students back to beginning lessons and compare them to the complexity of lessons taught recently, so the student can see for themselves, how their perseverance contributed to their own growth.
And finally, we know as adults that life presents many obstacles. Learning how thoughtful, hard work can make a difference early on will give a student a positive experience to refer back to as these challenges arise.