As much time as I spend thinking about curriculum, lesson plans, and instruction, I spend equal time thinking about the dispositions that bring all that content and skill to fruition. Persistence is one of those dispositions that I work hard to teach, because I believe it is crucial to becoming a lifelong learner. Research shows that this skill is one of the most reliable predictors of future success, and I know students who are able to stick with and work through problems really learn content and are rewarded with a sense of accomplishment and new confidence. Some may argue that you can’t teach dispositions like persistence, but I disagree. Not only can we teach attributes like persistence, we can create a culture of learning that supports students in layered ways.
And one of the best ways to create that culture of persistence is to live it and model it as teachers. My Tch colleague Lily Jones has written a wonderful blog on how she exercised her own persistence by never giving up on some of her students who exhibited behavior struggles.
Teacher Laureate at Teaching Channel
P.S. An exciting third season of our public television show Teaching Channel Presents kicks off this Sunday! Check your local showtimes by looking up your zip code here.
This one-hour episode of our PBS show, Teaching Channel Presents, visits several classrooms where students are learning the value of making mistakes. You'll see the sense of accomplishment that comes with problem solving, trying again, and making progress.
Get some inspiration and laughs on Tch’s “Where Teachers Find Motivation” board. This week’s popular pin is a blast from the past: it’s a list of teacher tasks from 1872 and starts with the daily chore of filling gas lamps and cleaning chimneys!