We are working hard to achieve our own dreams and goals.

Perseverance is the name of the game as the little girl in this video demonstrates: click here.

This video has been presented at two recent Headteacher meetings to exemplify how we need to encourage children to develop resilience and a growth mindset. The look of sheer triumph and elation on the girl’s face only comes as a result of her dogged determination to overcome the challenge she has set herself. It is so important that children recognise the value of hard work and persistent effort; the resulting success is all the sweeter.

Another important message in this video is one of personal fulfilment. The little girl doesn’t receive a prize; her reward is the fact that she was eventually successful. Here, I find myself torn. The educator in me thinks that sometimes (often?) children only try hard because there is a reward at the end of the process rather than to feel good about their personal achievements. Shouldn’t we try hard because that is the standard we set for ourselves, not because there is a dangling carrot disguised as a merit, a dojo point or a sticker?

However, the pragmatist in me transposes children’s effort in the classroom to adult’s efforts in the workplace. We work to earn a salary. Yes, there might be altruistic benefits to the work we do which can motivate us and provide us with job satisfaction, but ultimately our primary motivation is to make a living. Why would/should we expect children to work hard for no recognition other than self-satisfaction? It’s most likely a balance of both – one to ponder!