True Grit


Saturday was an interesting day for me.  I had some evaluations to write, tweeted during some chats, and followed the Bammy awards.  (Don’t know what the Bammys are, click on the link.  Many of my friends won on Saturday!I took a break, and on PBS, the TED Talks for Education was on, the same one that Rita Pierson gave her “every kid needs a champion” speech that I showed you.

One of the speakers was Angela Lee Duckworth and it was about grit.  What is grit?  Duckworth states that grit is passion and perseverance for very long term goals.  Grit is having stamina.  Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years and working really hard to make that future a reality.  Grit is living life like it’s a  marathon, not a sprint.

Duckworth studied grit in the Chicago public schools.  She found out that grittier kids had more potential to get into college and significantly more likely to graduate.  One of the shocking things she stated about grit is how little we know about it, what is the science behind it and how do we build it in our kids.  Folks ask her and she doesn’t have the answer.  But she stated that talent doesn’t make you gritty.

During the talk, Duckworth brings up the work of Carol Dweck and her book Mindset.  Dweck talks about a growth mindset.  It is the belief that the ability to learn is not fixed.  That it can change with your effort.  It is a belief that failure is not a permanent condition and students persevere when they fail because they feel failure is not a permanent condition

Growth mindset is a great idea, but Duckworth says we need more.  It’s a start and we need to take our best ideas, our strongest intuitions and test them and be willing to fail to   Duckworth said, “In other words, we need to be gritty to get our kids more grittier.”  The research is still going strong.  Check out Carol Dweck’s book Mindset on  It is worth the read.  Check out my friend Larry Ferlazzo’s blog about grit.  I thought it was interesting to share this with you.  Something different to think about than Common Core and standardized testing.  Enjoy and have a great week!


  • Bus Duty for Sept 23- Oct 4 Team 2: M. Backus, P. Mahay, B. Gauthier.  Upcoming bus duty.  Team 3:  Jessica Serviss, Teresa Kiechle
  • Oct 2nd we have a BEDS meeting in the library @ 2:45pm.  Please bring a #2 pencil.
  • SLO/LLO are due October 4th on the eDoctrina system.
  • Our Open House is this Wednesday, September 25th.
  • A great article from Responsive Classroom on “Teach Effectively”
  • My friend Peter DeWitt writes about the NYSED and how public is the public school system.  A must read.
  • Crickets are driving me CRAZY in my house!  🙂
  • I am continuing with walk through evaluations and will visit with you all soon.  Look for emails for my announced visit.
  • Please make sure you complete the math manipulatives order sheet that Mrs. Bushey sent to all classroom teachers.  These are materials that are needed to teach ALL of the math modules.  They have been collated so you do not have to “research” and look through the modules to see what you need.  



  • Please check the East Side Announcement page for updated dates, announcements etc.  Lisa is updating this continually!
  • What are the five things you are grateful for?  Make a list daily.  It does wonders!
  • Be the change agent for kids!  Be a champion for kids.  Every kid deserves a champion!


Other Items of Interest:

This post is directed atfirst-year teachers. And, here’s a list of 10 things for new teachers.

One of the parent’s from Sandy Hook wrote a back-to-school letter to teachers. She says: “Walk with courage, with faith, and with love. And don’t let them suck your fun circuits dry.”

It’s not too late to provide feedback about the Next Generation Science Standards to SED. You have until October 15th to take the survey.

This collection of resources includes dozens of sources of inspiration for Project Based Learning project ideas.

This post provides some background about school lunches. It includes some common facts as well as a context for districts concerns about the revised guidelines and impact on school lunch volume.

What makes planning for teaching and learning in a Common Core, standards-based environment differentStandards-based planning is what effective and highly-effective teachers do. This course provides a comprehensive experience for teachers of all subjects at all levels.

Tony Wagner wrote this in 2003, but it might be more poignant now: “Beyond Testing.”
Principals image
October is National Principals Month.

A Touch of Humor

Sound familiar?

The Official Dilbert Website featuring Scott Adams Dilbert strips, animations and more


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