In each session at The Village School there is a character trait that has been chosen to focus on. In session 2 heroes hear stories of grit and perseverance as they work on developing this on their own. Grit, like all other aspects of character can change, especially when a hero has a growth mindset. For one to build grit they must first have interest. This is the intrinsic desire to learn and grow. Our heroes demonstrate this with excitement for new math inquiry centers, as they discover new colors while mixing watercolor paints or as they observe a particularly large and hairy spider. Being a guide means that sometimes you need to capture the spider so that everyone can have a closer look, but that you also ask the Socratic questions about what a spider’s life would be like in our studio, as opposed to back out in nature.
Grit also requires practice. This looks like setting a goal, focusing on it, getting feedback on your progress, and reflecting as necessary. This week our heroes starting a new practice of setting goals choosing work that is balanced and challenging for them. We talk about the goals and they even have opportunity for feedback from peers.
Reflection is also something that helps build grit and resiliency. This often happens in our launches and closing and I continue to be surprised by the level of high thinking in these reflective moments. While discussing challenges, heroes hear about and how we experience something called the dip, where we can feel like giving up. While examples are given about more academic challenges like spelling a tough word or physical ones like climbing the tree limbs, a poignant story is shared about a struggle between friends. The hero recalled that they were in the dip and feeling so low because they just couldn’t seem to compromise. ” I know I was in the dip because I was forgetting to be kind”. The other heroes heard and saw as one of their fellow travelers took responsibility. The hero shared some ideas that they might try next time a problem like this arises. Others joined in and shared thoughts, because in our community of learners every mistake is an opportunity to grow and do better.