There has been a lot of buzz about having “GRIT”. When Angela Duckworth gave a TED talk about students needing grit, the can was opened about those soft skills that students lack in our current society. Psychology Today has written an article about it as well and in a recent interview for The Chronicle, Dan Jones, past president of the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors, seems to agree with this assessment: “[Students] haven’t developed skills in how to soothe themselves, because their parents have solved all their problems and removed the obstacles. They don’t seem to have as much grit as previous generations.”
Scholastic put out an outline for acquiring grit. I see CTE throughout the whole process.
Put a challenge in front of them.
That is what CTE does best. We encourage our students to get out of their comfort zones and take on the challenges of applying their knowledge. It is not enough to just read and memorize the content.
CTE educators keep working with the students to help them find ways to solve issues. They have students do project-based learning in which they apply knowledge to real events and activities. The student-run stores are learning labs that allow students the opportunity to practice skills. Students will make mistakes and they will learn from them.
Be a nudge.
CTE educators take on the role of CTSO coach as students apply their learning. CTE professionals routinely push kids out of their comfort zone and into the next level. They get students to compete in CTSOs and apply those valuable skills.
Welcome boredom and frustration.
Students get to learn real work skills and find out that the workplace is sometimes tedious and not very exciting, yet the job still needs to be done. Students need to learn that work is sometimes frustrating too! Teachers need to resist doing the work for the students when they come upon this scenario.
Let him fall — and model resilience.
CTE does this best! Think of your marketing research or engineering projects. Students start working on the paper or project only to realize that their focus it too broad and they need to be redirected. There is no doubt that the student whined about having to redirect the topic. This is good for them. They need to fall and you need to help get them up and going again. They have to learn that “Life is Hard” and the key is to keep moving forward.
This process will help them learn true GRIT!
By: Debbie Moore CTE, Career and Technical Education Marketing Educator/Teacher on Assignment
Mountain Ridge High School, Glendale, AZ