professornana (professornana) wrote,

Pearls before swine

I am continuing to see so many articles, posts, and even tweets touting the merit of developing grit in our kids. Paul Thomas comments on some recent research in this post: The non-educator "expert" Thomas is discussing is calling for a no-excuses environment in the school as the magic bullet to cure all the ills that exist (or that reformers think exist).

While I am not a fan of excuses, I understand the need, sometimes, to accept a REASON as a need for work to be late, a student to be absent, an action to be forgiven. I admit that this is something with which I struggle as a teacher. I have a NO LATE WORK policy that is repeated in the syllabus and in the screencasts for my classes. Past students will tell you that I am fairly firm about accepting work after the deadline except under extenuating circumstances.
al as I do teach graduate courses for folks who want to become school librarians
But this idea of NO excuses bothers me. It is something else that takes away my autonomy as a teacher to make decisions about my own kids and classes. And the added concept of developing grit makes me cringe. There is not one policy I have that is about grit. It is about being a professional as I am working with students who wish to become school librarians.

As an adult, I understand the concept of grit and the phrase, "that which does not kill you makes you stronger." As a parent, I have some different feelings.

Today, BH and I celebrate the graduation of the last resident of the back bedroom. Yes, College Girl is graduating this afternoon. There has been much grit in her life. She knew things at 4 that many kids do not experience until much later in life. we recognize that she is not the only kid in the world who had to deal with tough situations (I do not know anyone who has not had to deal with difficulties at some point in their lives), but the idea of NO EXCUSES and GRIT being thrown in on top? Frankly, it horrifies me.

Oysters create pearls with their tiny pieces of grit. Kids are more than bivalves. They are complex humans who deserve all the protections we can muster. They deserve an excuse every once in a while. They deserve support and love and encouragement. They deserve the chance to BECOME.
Tags: grit, idiocy, reformists
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