by • January 13, 2015 • Knowledge BuildingComments (0)1164


Students in both classes interviewed parents over the past week to get their insights and advice on developing grit, tenacity, perseverance and resilience.  Yesterday we held our first Knowledge Building Circle on the subject.  It was a remarkable day of sharing.  Students are now reflecting on the discussion.  Over the next few days I will be sharing reflections with the permission of students.  These have been anonymized as some parents shared very personal struggles to help their children and the class understand these character traits.  As more come in I will post them.

I would like to thank parents who had time to sit down with their children to answer their questions.  I know life is busy and this required you to think and reflect.  I will say that the impact you have had on these students in noticeable.


Student 1

What I Learned

I feel that I learned a lot from this knowledge building circle. One main thing I learned was what you want in life takes hard work. Many people’s parents said that they wish that they had tried harder in school because many of them didn’t get their dream job. Another thing that I learned, actually my mom said, she said “People don’t judge you as much as you think that they do.” I found that advice very helpful, I was always worried about my appearance but I now realize it doesn’t even matter. The final thing that I learned was to never give up. Several parents said that they failed at first, but with patience and hard work succeeded the second time. In conclusion I now understand that parents have more to say than lectures.

Student 2

After listening to others peoples stories I have discovered many interesting ideas on the pedagogies for deep thinking. I think the most common thing said by people was “don’t give up”, I completely agree with this because if you give up you will never achieve your goals and in the future you will realize the life changing opportunities you missed. One of my fellow classmates parents said something that in my opinion is something everyone should be aware of, “you don’t need to accomplish everything at once”. I really do agree with this because if you try and do everything at once you put too much pressure on yourself and that alone can cause problems. You begin to think you are a failure and  that you aren’t good enough. My new learnings can be applied to my own life because I understand other people go through the same problems as I do. I still wonder why so many people said that they wish they’d pursued their goals. I wonder if this kind of problem was just a common thing when our parents were younger or am I completely oblivious to this happening around me now? I believe that many people regret giving up on things when they were younger, but I also believe that some people choose to blame their failures on what they did when they were younger because they can’t let go of the past. This knowledge building circle expanded my understanding of grit. tenacity, perseverance and resilience and is going to help me with a more successful future.

Student 3

Today I heard a lot of stories about when people had to show grit, tenacity, perseverance and resilience. I learned about people’s regrets and advice for the future. Some of these stories, regrets, advice etc stuck out to me. The regret that ***’s mom had  stuck out to me the most.  She said, “ I wish it would have been harder for me earlier”.  I’m not quite sure why this stuck out two me but I think that middle school prepares you for high school so if your middle school teachers weren’t pushing you enough you may not do as well in high school because high school teachers aren’t like elementary high school teachers. High school teachers are harder on you because they’re preparing you for college/university. A piece of advice stuck out to me a lot ***’s mom said,  “You have too work for to get things in life”. I know why this stuck out to me the most because, I have always had to work for things in my life.  See I don’t come from the richest family.  I never get anything without working for it.  I’m not like some of my peers who get what they want at a snap of their fingers.  I’m not jealous I’m just saying… In some places of the world people work really hard for things but they still don’t get them. I learned a lot because of this knowledge circle and I have a enough advice to last me for years!


Student 4

My Reflection


I’ve noticed that Education kept on coming up when people were sharing their answers with us and I’ve never really realized how many of our parents have applied to a school and not gotten in  or dropped out. I am curious about the environment there was at the schools our parents attended. And if it was bad, did that affect their education choices?

The 4 qualities

I learned from *** that you should always challenge yourself and ask for help if you ever need it. As weird as it sounds, it takes a lot of grit, tenacity, resilience and perseverance to ask for help when you need it. Some people just want to accomplish something on their own and not ask for help, but when someone helps you, it’s not like they are doing your work for you, they are just trying to help you understand. If you have help, you are still accomplishing a task, just someone helped you to understand the problem.

Student 5

Knowledge Building Circle

A lot of people said you can’t change the past or something close to that. For example, *** said “you can’t change the past so don’t look at it” and *** said “you will have setbacks but you don’t have to look at it”. That really helped me because you are only going to move forward in life so why bother looking back? I can apply this into my life in many ways, but I wonder why do people look back at the past but know they can’t change it?

Student 6

I learned that it’s good to learn from other’s experience and use that experience as a helpful tool in life to forward your own goals. I also learned that it’s fine to ask for help and to fail because you learn from your mistakes so you don’t make  them again. Another thing i learned is that school will get tougher so it’s good to be prepared ahead of time while it’s easier. Further more it’s good to take new opportunities in life and to try new things and you will have lived. Finally some advice is to help out other people and don’t give up on something really important to you. In conclusion it’s good to have these qualities grit,resilience,perseverance and tenacity.

Student 7

Reflection on Grit, Tenacity, Perseverance and Resilience.

In the knowledge building circle I learned a lot about the four character traits we have been talking about and how I can apply them in my own life. For example I think the idea of looking into the future instead of the past because you can not change the past is a very interesting thing to think about and would probably help many people or even myself. Even though I learned so many things applying them in my life could be difficult, from what I have learned you should always be positive, learn from your mistakes, accept new challenges and keep trying even if it is hard. Many people were talking about their parents dropping out of school and university which seems strange because so many people said this. But when I was interviewing my parents my Dad said that you don’t have to go to university to be successful in life. He also said do not drop out of high school.I liked one of my classmates ideas  that every one does not judge you as much as you think which is reassuring because I feel pressured in school because I feel all the teacher have high expectations and I usually do well in school so I feel I really need to keep that up and I now know I am not pressured or judged as much  now.


Student 8

What I learned

I learned several things from our knowledge building circle. One would be that you “can’t change the past so don’t look back just keep going”.   Another would be that “ tough times don’t win tough people do”. Overall I would say that the morals of these stories were to not give up,  learn from your mistakes, keep going and just dont worry about the past. A quote that I think would fit here is “sticks and stones will always be thrown but nothing can ever break me”. It fits here because for number eight in the interview questions most people said that you just need to keep going and the quote means that you can get hit by anything but it will never break you, just keep going. these are the things that I learned.

How to apply it to my life

I think I could apply these lessons to my life by just never giving up. I have given up before when things got really hard and challenging, but now that I know from people’s stories that if you keep going it will most likely work out, I think that I will do that. Just keep going instead of bailing or backing out! Also I will try to remember that I can’t change the past but I can write the future.









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