Have you found yourself saying, “I can hardly believe it’s April” or, “I can’t believe it’s the last quarter of school.” Time seems to be flying by so quickly. My next thoughts turn to all of the things that need to happen before the end of school. Among all of the important things going on, teachers and parents need to remember they have great influence as they encourage their students to be persistent and finish the school year strong. Persistence is essential to success, and the more of it you display, the more you will accomplish. It is persistence that will allow you to make the most of your ability.
“Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.”
– Newt Gingrich
“Great beginnings are not as important as the way one finishes.”
– James Dobson
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is to always try just one more time.”
– Thomas Edison
“Continuous effort - - not strength or intelligence - - is the key to unlocking our potential.”
– Winston Churchill
“Energy and persistence conquer all things.”
– Benjamin Franklin
The concept of perseverance brings to mind the story of the 1980 Winter Olympic hockey team. Team USA embodied the growth mindset and continuous effort we strive daily to build in the students of Weber School District.
In the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, the USA hockey team was represented by a collection of young college kids, some with pro hockey aspirations. Under the guidance of their coach, Herb Brooks, the young American athletes became a fast, well-conditioned and cohesive team. Brooks knew how dangerous his team could be. He also knew that many of their competitors were underestimating his team’s potential and had mostly written them off as a medal contender. Brooks would use this miscalculation to his team’s advantage.
In order to make it to the medal round, the USA team had to fight hard in each match. They won their opening game against Sweden. This was a significant win, since USA had not beaten the Swedes since 1960. Next, the Americans dominated a strong Czech team by winning 7-3. Team USA continued their way through the bracket by winning their next three games, ultimately positioning them for the first medal round against the Russian team. In a very tense game against the Soviet team, the well-conditioned USA team held off the Russians and won 4-3. They finished strong in what became known as the Miracle on Ice.
Today, more than 30 years later, most people believe that this unlikely victory resulted in a gold medal for the USA. It did not. The win over Russia put Team USA through to the next round where they went on to defeat Finland and win the gold. In six of the seven games played, the USA team had to come back from a deficit to win. They truly embodied the spirit of belief, persistence, and passion. And, they definitely finished strong!
We often refer to the Weber Way in our district. We believe in educating the whole child. Teaching our students to be positive, persistent and to finish strong is whole child thinking. These life skills are necessary for a successful future. We want to thank educators and parents as we all work together to support students and ensure success by fostering a spirit of persistence, perseverance and continuous effort.