Most Successful People Have It, Inherently or Learned. What is It?

Grit:  Don’t confuse it with that old Western movie or a Southern breakfast corn staple. And it’s more than just a grainy substance found in sand or gravel. So, what is grit?

According to psychologist and scholar, Angela Duckworth, grit is the substance of an indomitable spirit; the perseverance and driving passion personified in most successful people. Grit reveals itself at a very early age and is a trait that should be encouraged and empowered.

Educators embrace the value of grit and strive to identify and support it in their students beginning in the most formative years of learning. By integrating passion-based learning into the classroom, students emerge from studies much more excited and enthusiastic about topics. When learning includes topics of interest that make them want to learn even more, classrooms become alive with discussion, debate, and` imaginative thinking.

This kind of learning environ environment is the cultivating ground for grit.

Passion-based learning creates a kind of authenticity. It inspires persistence and develops muscle memory for the topic a student most loves to study.

Parents and teachers can help students develop grit by helping them recall or reflect on different assignments or activities. Here are some sample questions you might try.

•  How did you feel as you went through the assignment?

•  Were you thinking that made you not want to complete the work?

•  Made you want to forge ahead and complete the work?

•  How did you feel when you completed the project?

•  Can you think of how you could change the thoughts that got in your way?

At Yorktown Education, our motto is: “Do What You Love” which is our unique way of encouraging and developing grit in our students. We know first-hand how powerful passion-based learning can be. With many Yorktown graduates to attest to the fact, we also see how students naturally thrive when allowed to advance at their own individual pace. Grade level and age are not measuring guides at Yorktown. Find out more about Yorktown and give your child the best possible learning experience.

Motivation: Students’ Path to Achievement.

While there may be many different teaching methods, there is a single component that makes education exciting, desirable, magical, inspiring and life-changing – motivation. Without it most of us would not even get out of bed in the morning, much less be enthusiastic about achieving excellence in how and what we learn.

What does it take to truly motivate students to high levels of achievement through motivation? Are there ways to capture that unique thing that sparks excitement and passion in a student’s learning?

Students need to know what’s expected of them to start out. When high, yet realistic expectations are voiced early on, students have a benchmark. When they reach set goals, that’s the time to motivate them even further by celebrating their achievements.

Recognition, whether in class, at home, or among friends is a huge motivator. It’s also a confidence-builder. A competition in class followed by awards can be a stimulator. It may seem old fashioned, but there is still lots to be said for sending notes home to parents when students excel. Everyone loves recognition.

Generating enthusiasm for a subject can stir up students’ imaginations and motivate them to find new avenues to explore. This is true whether it’s a favorite subject the teacher likes or suggestions taken by a vote in class. This can easily catch on and other students are motivated to dig deeper in a topic.

When students identify with topics that are part of their everyday lives, they relate more to the importance of learning. Helping students discover what they “love to do” is embedded in the Yorktown Education culture. Determining that and then sharing ideas about subjects they love is a win-win for everyone.

At Yorktown, our students are constantly motivated, if not by their own internal drive and passion, then by the exceptional environment focused on their individual learning style. Teachers, classmates and family are all a major part of our “Do What You Love” environment. Expectations are clear and the resources are available at Yorktown to help students rise to their highest aspirations.

Creativity Powers Imagination and Learning.

Creativity is to learning like ice cream is to cake – they complement each other well. Sadly, too often creativity is tied more to the arts than to academics. The fact is that artistic ability is only a component of creativity.

Innovation is a big part of creativity. Having the insight to see that something could be better or needs fixing inspires students to explore and discover something that exceeds the status quo.

Students advance more proficiently when they understand that things are not always black and white. Often the most ‘outside the box’ idea or activity is the one that hits the mark.

The ability to improvise is a very creative resource. In life as well as the classroom things don’t always go as planned. Recognizing that something is not working, it’s good (and creative) to be able to pivot, change direction and arrive at a better solution.

Being creative by no means guarantees having all the answers. A creatively smart individual knows how to draw on resources from classmates, coworkers and those adept in a particular subject – people who know more.

Crazy ideas, as they’re often called, sometimes turn out to be ingenious. When students are encouraged to be ‘risk takers’ it gives them permission to break the mold and look for new ideas, especially when the old ways are not working.

While learning is the central focus of education, students must be passionate about what they are doing. Passion is a motivator and an inspiration for students to become lifelong learners.

At Yorktown Education, our central focus is to guide students to “Do What You Love”. When a student’s passion for a subject or idea is encouraged, supported and engaged, they discover the joy and reward that comes with learning. Yorktown is committed to this goal for all of our students, helping to direct them on a creative, imaginative, rewarding journey of discovery.