There are only a few weeks left of this school year. Students everywhere are looking forward to summer, and it’s hard to stay focused on school. It is important, however, to finish strong for more than just making this year a success. Success in school and life is linked to the ability to persevere even when things get tough. Educators refer to this characteristic as “grit”—and you can even take this “12-item Grit Scale” quiz to find out how much of it you have!
Parents can encourage their children to do their best as they finish this school year. Here are some strategies you might try.
Talk with your son about his long-term goals. Ask him, “What do you want to be when you get out of school? What will you need in order to be successful in that?” Nearly every career requires at least a high school diploma. Even college graduates have difficulty finding jobs in today’s market.
Encourage your daughter to attend school every day and to be on time. Talk to her about the importance of attendance and punctuality in the workforce. Most promotions are based at least in part on it, and those who have poor attendance records are often the first to lose their jobs when a workforce must be cut.
Plan an end-of-year celebration for the weekend after school lets out for summer. Allow the kids to help plan it. Explain that the celebration is for a successful school year with grades that reflect hard work and diligent effort through to the end. I am not a proponent of rewards linked to good grades only, but I am a huge proponent of rewarding perseverance and finishing to the best of one’s ability.
Parents, stay strong and encourage your children to finish this school year attending regularly, completing all work the best they can, and studying for tests and exams. Then celebrate their hard work early in the summer. Remember that grit and determination are the keys to success in school and life.
Livia McCoy spent many years teaching upper school science. She currently serves as Dean of Student Support at The Steward School in Richmond, VA. Livia sees each student as an individual with great potential to learn, and feels her job is to help every student figure out how to be successful in school. Livia says, “I blog about the many smart students who struggle in school because they think differently or have attention issues. I share what I have learned helping these students, their parents and teachers to see how they can experience success in school.” Livia welcomes comments on her blog at SchoolFamily.com.