Yesterday my daughter and family came in the door with Sonic drinks for all - perfect treat for yet another day over the 100 degree mark! The cardboard carry-out carton was sitting on the table and my daughter gave it to my granddaughter and said, "Here, see if you can make this flat." After glancing at it for a second, granddaughter said, "I don't know," and then just sat it back on the table. Of course I had to continue that teachable moment my daughter had initiated. I suggested that she look at the carton carefully on all sides and see if she might be able to figure it out. Of course she did, and that was the end of that.
This scenario stuck in my mind and got me thinking about what is important and I've come to this conclusion. Tenacity, perseverance, stick-to-it-ness - these may be the most important life skills to develop that will carry us far in this journey we call life. And, if these skills are so important, how can we teach, develop, and nurture these skills in our children? These skills definitely do not lend themselves to one and done lessons. In fact, quite the opposite. These skills must be woven throughout all of life's experiences. It is these very skills that will create a mindset to want to explore, create, discover, and problem solve.
As teachers everywhere are already hard at work (on their own time because contract days have not started yet) getting the physical learning spaces ready for students, my hope is that they are also busy thinking about the best ways to grow the minds of their students. It is increasingly more and more important that students have the opportunity to not only master the curriculum but also master the arts of communication, collaboration, creativity, experimentation, and problem solving to be prepared for their future!