Persistence, stamina, perseverance, grit.
In the final months of the school year, students need this drive to keep trying when confronted with challenges, failure, and exhaustion. It’s time to finish strong!
Persistence relies on a growth mindset. Having a growth mindset means seeing mistakes as learning opportunities and believing in the potential for improvement. When a growth mindset directs people’s actions, they are more likely to persevere through challenges. A leading researcher of motivation referred to growth mindset as using the “power of yet” instead of being “gripped in the tyranny of now.” For example, a student might get stuck thinking about how right now he does not understand his chemistry unit. If he thinks instead that he does not understand it yet, he can encourage himself to try different approaches, research the concepts, and reach out for help.
I can do this.
Developing a growth mindset leads to more positive self-talk. Sometimes people find it easier to encourage their friends and loved ones than to encourage themselves. If they consider how they would encourage someone else, they can start replacing negative self-talk with supportive thoughts. Teaching students about positive self-talk can help them persist through discouraging moments and stressful situations.
Stepping towards goals
To maintain a growth mindset, it helps to be aware of long-term progress. At The Family & Learning Center, we often reflect with our students on their strategy use and the concrete outcomes. After a test, students reflect on beneficial strategies, unhelpful strategies, and areas to target for improvement. By refining their approach, they learn from their performance to make sure their effort is effective over time. Positive results in the long run motivate ongoing hard work.
When a student is working towards a long term goal, they can also sustain their motivation by setting steps along the way. As the end of school approaches, students benefit from spreading out finals studying and chunking big projects into smaller pieces. Getting a reward at the end of each step can help students who have a hard time with goal-directed persistence. Then they can continue giving their best effort all the way through the last day of school, and finish strong.