Do Teachers Need More ‘Grit’?

Do Teachers Need More ‘Grit’?

In recent months, the term "grit"—tenacity, resilience, or perseverance—has been popping up in discussions about student success. Many researchers and educators argue that grit is a critical factor in students' academic performance. Now, a new study of novice educators in high-needs schools suggests that teachers with higher levels of "grit" may be more effective than their peers—and less likely to leave the classroom.

How do this study's findings compare to your own experiences as an educator? How important is "grit" to teacher effectiveness? Should school leaders and policymakers seek to hire teachers with more "grit" or focus their attention on other factors affecting teacher retention and effectiveness? If you were a policymaker, which would you prioritize?

On the anniversary of the Brown decision, teacher Scarlett Gaddy longs for a time when educators can concentrate on each child's progress, regardless of his or her race.

Resilient teachers discover their own power to find meaning, solve complex problems, and make meaningful connections, Meenoo Rami says.

It's one thing to be able to identify the grittiest new recruits; it's another thing to make teaching the kind of profession that attracts smart, reflective, highly educated people, Kathleen Melville says.

Stop searching for ways to build illusive qualities like grit. It's a trap that will only divert us from our real goal: high quality, supported, well-prepared teachers for every child, in every classroom no matter what.

Jennifer Barnett argues that schools can't just achieve a workforce with grit merely through recruitment efforts.

Cindi Rigsbee says she returned to teaching after almost giving it up, but not because she lacked grit.

The opinions expressed in Teaching Ahead: A Roundtable are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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