In this post I describe the first of what I consider to be the five most important traits needed for success in school. By giving attention to these high-leverage behaviors and nurturing their development over time, teachers and parents can empower children to maximize their amazing potential.
Of course, no two children are alike, and not all high-achieving students will display the traits I am about to describe in the same way. Some of the following details may not be true of every successful student. My goal, then, is not to paint a picture of a single, rigid "type" that all children must emulate. Rather, it's to share the specific behaviors that, in my experience, have the greatest impact on a child's success. Focusing on these behaviors gives teachers and parents the greatest bang for our buck in our efforts to help children become better students.
D - Demonstrate Drive & Determination
Being a highly successful student begins with a commitment to education. Before becoming successful, children need to decide that doing well in school matters and that they are willing to do what it takes on a daily basis to live up to that commitment. Children display this commitment by working hard throughout the day. They don't repeatedly start and stop while completing a piece of work; they don't need teacher reminders to get their work done. They invest themselves completely in the task at hand and use their time well. It's easy to spot students who work with drive and determination. You can see it in their posture and how they carry themselves in the classroom and while doing homework. You can see it in the enthusiasm, energy, and passion they put into their work. Children who demonstrate drive and determination take responsibility for their learning and show strong self-discipline. When these children encounter difficulties, they don't quit or become distracted. Instead, they enjoy and embrace difficult challenges and persevere until the end.