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The Teacher Tip

Perseverance in the Real World

July 6, 2018

Adapted from Thinking Together by Rozlynn Dance & Tessa Kaplan. 

Students do not often see perseverance in movies, TV shows, and the general media. They often will see the final success stories of characters or famous celebrities, but they don’t hear of the hard work and failures that went into those successes. It is important for students to understand that very few people achieve fame or success the first time they try. Students need to be exposed to the stories of people who failed and persevered in order to succeed. 

One way to help is to have students brainstorm a list of their favorite celebrities, inventors, and heroes. Once you have a list, do some class research on one or two of the people on their lists. Often, when researching these famous people, you will be able to find stories of hard work and perseverance. Sometimes students will choose someone who may have easily succeeded, and in this case you may discuss why that particular person found success so easily. It’s true that sometimes people just get lucky, but it’s important to discuss that this doesn’t happen often and we can’t rely on luck to succeed. You might have students think about what aspects of a person’s life enabled their success or paved the path for them. 

To learn more about Thinking Together and download a sample chapter, visit 

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