When the Focus on ‘Grit’ in the Classroom Overlooks Student Trauma – The Atlantic



“We are asking students to change a belief system without changing the situation around them.”

“The transformative potential in growth mindsets and social-emotional skills such as grit may be more applicable to students whose basic needs are already met. When asking the question of why some children succeed in school and others don’t, he said the educators and administrators tend to overestimate the power of the person and underestimate the power of the situation.” (Excerpt)


Can You Instill Mental Toughness?


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These just might be the mechanics of “grit” (aka self-efficacy ). Mental toughness is related. This is one of my favorite interests: resilience.


To be mentally tough is to resist the urge to give up in the face of failure, to maintain focus and determination in pursuit of one’s goals, and to emerge from adversity even stronger than before. Psychologists claim that almost everyone can benefit from strengthening these skills, even those people we might consider paragons of mental toughness: army drill sergeants. The U.S. military is now implementing a resilience-building program, designed by a team of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, intended to make soldiers as rugged in mind as they are in body. This effort—one of the largest psychological interventions ever attempted—holds lessons for anyone who wants to strengthen their mental muscles.

Drill sergeants were chosen to receive the training because they’re in a position to teach the service members under their command, promoting a trickle down of psychological resilience. The program’s key message: Mental toughness comes from thinking…

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How Successful People Handle Toxic People


Toxic people defy logic. Some are blissfully unaware of the negative impact that they have on those around them, and others seem to derive satisfaction from creating chaos and pushing other people’s buttons. Either way, they create unnecessary complexity, strife, and worst of all stress.

via How Successful People Handle Toxic People.

via How Successful People Handle Toxic People.

There’s a lot of good advice in this article. It’s excellent for dealing with toxic people, but it is also good for avoiding burnout when in any stressful job position. This is especially good for educators of all kinds.

If you were ever looking for emotional skills and social skills, this is a great list of those people need to learn (and to continually practice) in order to maintain healthy resilience: The skills can just as easily replace the word “they” with “resilient people…”

They Set Limits (Especially with Complainers)


They Don’t Die in the Fight


They Rise Above


They Stay Aware of Their Emotions


They Establish Boundaries


They Won’t Let Anyone Limit Their Joy


They Don’t Focus on Problems—Only Solutions


They Don’t Forget

They Squash Negative Self-Talk

They Get Some Sleep

They Limit Their Caffeine Intake

They Use Their Support System

The Public School Does More than Educate


To Talk Like This and Act Like That

The Public School Does More than Educate

by Duane Sharrock

In the United States, schools are not only places to educate students. Each school is a “point of contact” or a “hub”, for various kinds of services and organizations. In addition to special education services, other services are often provided: health (including mental health), crisis interventions, temporary shelters for the impoverished (where food is provided as well), the school directs traffic to social services programs, community programs, and recreational programs. Some schools include “student resource officers” (i.e. police) and may house a probation officer, as well. Standardized testing, expert witnesses, character witnesses, and other kinds of observations and observers are cited in research for criminal investigations, scholarly exploration, and historical documentation. Lately, education has begun to include social and emotional skills instruction, as well. People may complain that the nation is becoming…

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