December Character Trait – PerseveranceBy
Webster’s dictionary defines Perseverance this way – “to continue a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.” Personally, I have never known anyone who did not, at some point in their life, have the need to call on perseverance to successfully overcome a situation. What was that situation in your life? Was the need for perseverance called for because of difficulty or opposition? What elements of character did you call on to get you successfully through this difficult time?
As we reflect on situations in our own lives that demanded we “keep on keeping on”, it is important to determine just how we can teach our students that important skill. We all know that giving up, or just seeing a goal as unattainable for us is the easy way out. Our task is to demonstrate with our students that the easy way usually does not bring us the hoped-for results. Whether it is persevering with homework, studying for a test, practicing an athletic skill or a pursuit in the arts, PERSEVERANCE counts!
Lee Iococca, highly successful CEO of General Motors, said: “Don’t go spending your whole life commiserating that you got the raw deals. You’ve got to say, I think that if I keep working at this and want it bad enough I can have it.
It’s called PERSEVERANCE!”
How are we modeling perseverance for our students? What more can we do or say to positively encourage each student to keep on trying when it is so much easier to quit? Are you giving that positive word or a pat on the back when you see the signs of giving up? Not punishing, not criticizing or nagging, but encouraging that student.
Have you told your “story” to your students? Consider a time in your life when you really wanted to quit trying. What made you continue until you succeeded? Tell the students your story, and share the positive outcome of that experience because you were willing to persevere.
Thomas Edison, inventor of the light bulb, said “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
Anyone associated with public education today recognizes the increased demands on educators, and the challenges those educators face every day. Encouraging perseverance in colleagues can be as important for the overall climate of the school as the encouragement of our students. Are we encouraging our peers to persevere when they “have had it with Johnny”? Perseverance, especially when it is emphasized in December as it is in our program Building Good Citizens for Texas, presents added challenges. Teachers are anxious to prepare family or home or trip plans for the holidays.
Practicing PERSEVERANCE, and encouraging that character trait in others – students and peers alike, can be a true “classroom life-saver”.
Remember, when you see a person on the
top of a mountain, he didn’t fall there!
List three ways in which you can teach and practice PERSEVERANCE! You, as well as your students and your peers will all benefit.
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