Persistence...a skill of the future

Tonight I was working on a puzzle that I brought home this last week from school. In my absence last week due to sickness, the students destroyed it. It seems that any day I was not at school, they would throw pieces on the floor (to be swept up by the custodian) or tear them up. I finally brought the puzzle home to complete it myself, knowing that some pieces were gone.

This week I feel like I have been on a mission to complete the puzzle. Last night I spent hours working on it and tonight after coming home I spent even more time on it. Although I am clear that there will be giant gaps between some pieces, I am excited for every piece I place correctly. It is a cross between being a bit OCD and persist.

Persistence....this is a skill, for young people, that seems to be fading into the past. I have noticed over the years that my students have less and less persistence...they are more inclined to just give up without trying long at all...

When I was a child I loved Legos. I would spend hours building, taking them apart and rebuilding. I loved the idea of creating and seeing all the things I could build. I kept at it...was persistent. My grandmother would buy me kits that I would work on on her living room floor. Persistence...

I look at my youngest son and watch him play games and even when he makes a mistake and his turn is over, he goes back and continues on. It is amazing to watch. I joke that he has the patience of Job. I would go crazy and probably fling the iPad across the room, but he just returns to the starting point (or his last point of completion) and continues on.

I don't know why some children are persistent at some tasks while others are not. Why some children can play games for hours but read for only five minutes? What causes a lack of commitment in one area of life, and complete dedication in another?

We need to draw some conclusions regarding this concept. We need to change their trajectory. We need to come up with a plan... How can the young people of today find the importance in persistence? I don't have the answers...but I will be persistent in trying to find them...

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