Brother had a tooth knocked at soccer this week and it came out at dinner at friends' house on Friday night. He fished around for it in his chewed up biscuit. Gotta love it.
The last week has been a blur. I've got several pieces I'm writing for various spaces and places and our littles had a crazy schedule this week.
Today we spent a glorious afternoon at Silver Falls State Park unwinding. Weekend plans changed. Life has a way of doing that. It's all good. And yes, we were the loudest people in the park. As always.
I really enjoyed this book. Now, how am I going to apply it to my life? Still thinking on that one.
How Children Succeed by Paul Tough
How do you motivate children and families to care about character? How do you teach a child to care as much about what they do, as what they don't do in regards to their character? Paul Tough explores these questions in How Children Succeed, Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character.
I will be thinking about this book for a long time and how to apply it to the students in my sphere. Tough makes clear that an emotional connection with a parent is the most important factor in success for a child. Children who do not have physical resources, but do have the love of a parent are far more likely to succeed in love, school, work, and recreation than a child who lacks bonding and love in their life.
He identifies seven characteristics that help determine future success for a student: self-control, grit, zest, social intelligence, gratitude, optimism, and curiosity. A student needs opportunities for academic and character development daily. Tough looks at schools and classrooms that incorporate character formation into all teaching sessions.
Tough asserts that self-discipline scores are a better predictor of success than IQ scores. Character counts. So how do you motivate students for the long run? They need both motivation and volition (will power) to achieve their dreams.
He makes clear that students need the opportunity to build character through stakes in something so important that failure is quite possible. Students need to have the opportunity to fail dramatically. In doing so, around fifth grade, they develop character. Learning to manage failure builds grit, determination and character. The kids who make it in life, rise above the failure and realize, I'm okay.
Rising above failure is also achieved through mental contrasting. In mental contrasting, a student overcomes stereotypes and concentrates on a positive outcome, while still acknowledging the obstacles they will face and focusing on solutions to those obstacles.
Tough introduces SLANT, a model for behavior that asks the student to be an active observer with an awareness that street behavior and class behavior are quite different. Excellent observers will see opportunities that others will miss.
Sit up. Listen. Ask questions. Nod. Track the Speaker.
How Children Succeed is really about how children think, about mastery of subjects as well as character formation. How do we help our students overcome and obtain a vision for their future? How do we prepare them for success, as well as failure?
Tough makes the case that college access is no longer an issue in the United States, but we have a real problem with limited and unequal college completion. He asks and looks at how we get our students to the finish line. Are the SAT and ACT tests real indicators of success today and are they the only indicators of success? No. We can better prepare students for success through character training and Tough looks at where we are doing that well in America.
Tough ends How Children Succeed dialoguing about education reform and how to best help our disadvantaged students stuck in the cycle of poverty. He makes a strong case that when education reform becomes based on child development and parent encouragement, the prosperity of our children and our nation will rise.
Working on an ancient history poem this weekend.