January Mentor Academy

Got Grit?

Angie Plugge, principal at Dawes Middle School, provided mentors with the tools and resources to encourage their mentees to develop grit on their path to create their own destiny.

Watch the full video from the January Mentor Academy.

Grit is the power of passion and perseverance.  ‘Got Grit’ is a motto that Dawes Middle School has adopted as their school motto because, as Plugge states, “Grit is one of the biggest characteristics of success.”

To lead a ‘grittier’ life, Plugge encourages mentors and students to find what their passions are and to ensure that they put effort into their actions.  One way that mentors can help their students do this is to emphasize and teach efforts rather than natural skills and talent.

Other ways that mentors can encourage students to grow their grit include:

  • Focusing on their interests and passions by providing positive feedback.
  • Helping students to deliberately practice, meaning setting a goal, reflecting, and striving for improvement.
  • Helping students find their purpose and believe that what they do matters.
  • Instilling hope that students have the power to improve things.  This helps to grow optimism that goals can be achieved and setbacks are just bumps along the way.
  • Encouraging them to be involved with extra-curricular activities.  Students involved in 2-3 activities, on average, have high self-esteem, better academics, attendance, and behavior.