‘If I only had the nerve’: possessing GRIT and having courage

By Annie Pendrey. Member of PDNorth’s online practitioner action research exchange.

Just 2 weeks ago I was discussing GRIT with my tutor group before I left my current role for pastures new. My tutor group were feeling overwhelmed with assignment hand in dates, reflecting using Pebble Pad and planning and delivering lessons to capture Professional Standards. It was in our space that we discussed how to show grit and recognise the characteristics we possessed to keep going! Little did I realise that just 2 weeks later that CONVID19 would take hold and I would revisit GRIT and write an article for FE NEWS.

Grit is a topic spearheaded by Angela Duckworth and believed to be a trait possessed by individuals who demonstrate passion and perseverance, exactly what I had shared with my tutor group.

In addition to passion is the trait perseverance. We have weeks ahead of us where we will have to display perseverance, preserving to set learners tasks, power points and reading materials that allow our learners to work towards and complete their goal and in turn hoping our learners will have the perseverance to continue with their studies and be self- motivated  whilst working in what is potentially a new mode of learning for many.

There are five more characteristics of grit and I wish to take time to explore one at a time over this period of turbulent time we face as educators.

The first one I wish to explore is courage. When I use the word courage, the image of the lion from the Wizard of Oz instantly comes to mind (it is my favourite film) and how can we display much more innate courage as educators, than the lion who had to follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald City where the Great Oz bequeathed him with a medal of courage?

I have felt and witnessed courage by so many of my colleagues on Twitter and other online platforms in the past 2 weeks, but have you taken time to stop, recognise and reflect upon the courage you have displayed? Would you like to share these with me and join in my journey of collating reflections of GRIT in the coming weeks and months?

If the Lion from the Wizard of Oz was to end this blog he would say to me ‘What have they got I ain’t got?’ and I would reply ‘COURAGE!’

Tweet me @AnniePendrey

Duckworth, G. (2016) Grit: The Passion and Perseverance. Scribner: New York