Grit in the Classroom: Building Perseverance for Excellence in Today’s Students
While Laila Y. Sanguras isn’t wrong in her assessment that grit is important in classroom settings, as a teacher myself I find some of her observations to be a bit idealistic. In Grit in the Classroom, Sanguras defines grit as sustained perseverance coupled with passion, and she suggests it is something that can be taught in a classroom setting. In my fifteen years of teaching, I’ve observed grit as a quality students bring to the classroom, and then it is capitalized on by a strong teacher, but it is rarely something that can be honed from scratch. Grit is ingrained in us by the examples we see in the real world, and at home, and while Sanguras offers a number of strong examples of how to work with grit, there is little here to suggest how to inspire grit.
The book itself is well researched, well supported, and riddled with charts and graphs and citations from other works. While all of that lends credibility to Sanguras’s argument, it isn’t particularly exciting to read. The book jacket attests that the author recently earned her doctorate in educational psychology; I’m left to wonder if this book was her thesis project. It reads much more like an in-depth look at an educational idea—grit—than a manual for teachers and parents to use in their instruction and rearing of children.
That being said, there is a conversational style at some points, and it is clear Sanguras is passionate about her subject. If you are interested in reading one person’s perspective on how to engage students on a personal level, by identifying their own interests and passions and using those to guide instruction, this may be just the book for you.