The Funny Thing About Grit

One of the best compliments I’ve received this year was when one of my students told me that she loves to laugh in my class. This statement is somewhat ironic considering the no nonsense, let’s get down-to-business mantra under which I typically operate. Now I can’t tell you the exact context of what it was that made her laugh, but that’s not the point.

The point is, no matter what “deadline” you are striving to meet, whether it be prepping your students for an AP exam or some other type of high stakes test or curriculum project, don’t forget to take time to show the real you. The side of you that makes students laugh. The side of you that students will remember. The side of you that students really need and will appreciate once they leave your classroom. It’s really not rocket science. A little laughter combined with some grit results in a winning classroom combination. This strategy can ultimately translate into your students’ adults lives. If you think about it, your “funny yet gritty” approach to education is what makes you the successful teacher you are. Teach your students to do the same. Teach them that grit, perseverance and focus is just as important as stopping every now and then to laugh and enjoy the moment.



  • Great post as always, Jenn. Your post resonated my very first year of teaching at BHS.

  • Great post as always, Jenn! Your post resonated my very first year of teaching at BHS, 34 years ago when as I was passing back homework, fell off of my Candies slip-on high heels (Barbie doll shoes). I remember laughing in hysteria turning redder than my hair. When I went to look at the faces of my students expecting them to join me in the laughter, I was surprised yet so deeply touched by their sadness and shock. They were so concerned about my well being and kept asking if I were okay. Thirty-four years later, I’m still amazed by the respectful students we have and by their respect for us and for what we do each and everyday.

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