Posted: September 07, 2017 | Author: Rachel Penaflor

My daughter is 6 months old, and I imagine the day I’ll meet with her first teacher. That darling teacher will likely ask me, “What are your hopes for your child’s school year?” Those hopes will include encouragement of a little thing we refer to as grit. This will be among the greatest of hopes, because it’s not a little thing at all. It’s everything. 

This concept is so huge, Author Angela Duckworth has written an entire book solely on the topic, and it is spot on. I’m sure there are other books as well. Simply put, grit is perseverance, never giving up. For better or for worse, we are surrounded by examples of it right now. As I write this in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, and, amidst the horror and heartbreak, unexpected and everyday heroes are in action, determined to make a difference for themselves and others. We resolve to keep pushing forward and rebuilding. We mourn, but do our best to recite the positives. We pull strength from our loved ones, neighbors, and wonderful helpers. But, to get us through, we need more than others can give us. We pull from our faith, and our inner strength. Our grit. 

So, in older grades, when my child’s teacher asks if I have any academic concerns, I’m likely to say that I just want her to do her best. I’m likely to say that I’m hoping for a school year that reinforces her desire to learn and determination to explore topics she’s passionate about. As a teacher and a mother, I hope I remember to celebrate a “Can-Do, Never Give Up” attitude as much as any talents and achievements. I hope that I can be a positive example of what grit is. Of course, I hope that she will not have to rely on her grit as so many are right now. 

We’ve got grit Houston. Let us not underestimate the power of that. 

Resources for helping our children cope in the face of disaster: