Saturday, October 31, 2015

True Grit

I have to confess something-- I absolutely love watching John Wayne movies. I grew up loving The Searchers (with Natalie Wood), McClintock, The Quiet Man (with Maureen O'Hara!), The Sons of Katie Elder and so many more. John Wayne was tough. He was savvy and always up for the challenge. I learned  to face a challenge head on and not give up watching these movies. 

The other day in our faculty meeting, we discussed hard work and how we might challenge our students to work through problems and challenges. So many students want to give up when faced with something hard. Working through adversity and challenge will make them stronger, as students and individuals. 

I shared an article with the teachers entitled, "How to do Hard Things", that a colleague had sent me. Here is the link to it:

We had an excellent conversation about what this means and how we can encourage our students to press forward. It made me think of the verse:

“through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”
Romans 5:2-4 NIV

I am not claiming that studying for a history test is true "suffering", but in a world where helicopter parenting attempts to protect children from any discomfort or challenge, allowing our students to work through problems on their own is not a bad idea. A student gets a C or D because they haven't studied well or they haven't turned in an assignment or two on time. Many parents will attempt to negotiate with the teacher to wave late grade penalties or to do extra credit. Instead, why don't we allow students to learn a valuable lesson and understand the natural consequences to their choices and actions?

We want to guide and develop students to think for themselves, solve real life problems and not retreat from problems, but embrace them as an opportunity to grow and learn. 

One of my teachers sent me this quote after our discussion:

A life verse for me is Colossians 3:23, "Do everything as if for the Lord and not for man". It is my sincere prayer that our students will embrace this truth. I hope we can develop students who do what is right because it is the right thing to do and to bring glory to God. 

Encourage your kids to keep pausing forward, to try new things, to solve a problem and to not give up because it is hard. It may be difficult to watch, especially if they make a mistake or get hurt, but it will ultimately help them strengthen their character!

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