The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.


Each month we have a character trait that we focus on here at Wiley. The trait for April (and May) is perseverance. That can be a tough word for some students to wrap their heads around. I prefer to use the not-really-a-word “stick-to-it-iveness.” Perseverance is, in its most fundamental form, the trait associated with never giving up, with trying and trying and trying even when everyone else tells you to quit. Perseverance is tackling a challenge head-on and use problem solving skills to overcome.

My all-time favourite example of perseverance is one that I share with my classes every year at about this time. It is the story of an Olympic athlete whose name is rarely remembered because he didn’t set any records, he didn’t win any medals, and he didn’t do anything that the world in general saw as amazing. But when I learned about him, when I learned about his story, I knew that he represented what it truly means to be an Olympian.

His name was John Stephen Akwhari. He was a marathon runner from Tanzania. This is his story:

This morning I asked my students to do a quick write on what it means to show perseverance. Here are some of their responses:

  • It is when you complete something and you are proud of it.
  • Perseverance is when you push through something even if it is difficult.
  • Perseverance is when something is hard and you keep on going like when a math problem is hard and you keep on going thats perseverance.
  • Perseverance is not giving up.
  • Perseverance is when you never give up just because something is in your way, and you usually can succeed.

All this month and into May, we will be looking for examples of perseverance. The students will be recording when they see others persevere so we can add them to our “Wiley Wonders” bulletin board. Teachers will be looking for examples of students persevering, too, so we can award them with “APPAWS’ tickets, which will be tallied up as we work toward earning our final colour (orange) for our annual school colour run.

As tempting as it is to just give up, we will persevere! We will succeed! We have six weeks left of school and I plan on making every day count!


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