“There is no anti-poverty tool that we can provide for disadvantaged young people that will be more valuable than the character strengths that…(the students that are followed in this book)possess in such impressive quantities: conscientiousness, grit, resilience, perseverance, and optimism.” This book made me feel like there is hope for our youth. Paul Tough has done extensive research on both children of poverty and affluent children. He has found that those that are nurtured in early childhood and those that experience and overcome failure are more likely to succeed regardless of IQ. He shows how it is never too late for a child to change. I find myself wanting to learn more about instilling these character traits in our children. After reading this book, I am convinced that it is more important to encourage good character than to drill students. Yes, education is important, but strength of character will determine success.
I don’t believe that anything can replace early reading, talking, singing, playing, and being verbal with your child. We do need to nurture children and help them to cope with their emotions, but it is refreshing to know that, as an educator, I can still have a profound effect on my students. Schools seem to be constantly trying to “fix” teachers. I agree that there are teachers that are not effective, but I strongly feel that the emphasis on testing has diminished the well-rounded education that our students deserve. What can we do to change this trend?