The recent New York Times magazine features an article about what New York City private schools are teaching kids. They are teaching optimism, resilience and grit – three traits found to be most important to adult success.
I left New York City in 2006, just as I had paid $10,000 to a consultant to get us into private nursery school for my oldest son. I am not kidding when I tell you that I cashed out my 401K to pay the fee. Don’t tell me it was stupid, okay? I know. But I’m telling you to show you how scared I was that my kid would not get into a good nursery school.
The New York Times reports that it’s tougher to gain admission to these NYC nursery schools than it is to get into Harvard. I believe it. These schools are places I would feel safe sending my kid. But it’s $40,000 a year. For eighteen years. What was I thinking?
Martin Seligman is the guy who’s directing these expensive public schools from his academic perch at Penn. He says grit involves vision, persistence and self-discipline – setting a goal and working to it til you get it.
I have no grand plan for how to teach grit. At least not yet. But each day I force myself to get out of bed and face that I have no idea what to do with the kids. I hope for a lot of things each time I do that, and one thing I hope is that I’m modeling grit.