Celebrating the Month of the Military Child and What Makes Us Successful

Month of the Military ChildAs you’ve hopefully noticed, our focus on the STEM-Works team is to provide easy access to a vast array of engaging content related to STEM education, education advocacy, and innovative practices related to education.  We are dedicated to students of all ages and from all corners of the world but this month we’re excited to join forces with our military community and support the Month of the Military Child.

Last week I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in the Military Child Education Coalition’s (MCEC) National Convening in DC. This event was focused on engaging education leaders from around the country in a critical discussion of how to best promote academic success for military and veterans’ children.  In preparation for this event, MCEC asked us to watch a few talks that set the stage for some of our discussions at this event.

The following video is a talk by Angela Lee Duckworth titled “The key to success? Grit.” In this talk, she describes her research and experience related to understanding what promotes success in people. You may be interested to find out that IQ isn’t what she identified as a key factor to success.

This video and the thoughts shared by Dr. Duckworth set the stage for one of the first exercises that we conducted at the conference – identifying our “sticky strengths.” It was such an interesting discussion, that I want to continue it with you all here.

Think about a strength (we’ll call it a “sticky strength”) that you developed during your childhood that has defined your success in your life and/or career.  For example, some of the characteristics that emerged from our discussion at the conference included resiliency, persistence, empathy, grit, and self-awareness.

So now we want to hear from you – what do you think your “sticky strength” is? What strength did you develop in childhood that has defined you over the years? How has this characteristic impacted your life and/or your career? I’ve started the discussion by sharing mine so join the conversation and share yours in the comments below!

2 comments on “Celebrating the Month of the Military Child and What Makes Us Successful

  1. Resourcefulness is my “sticky strength.” As a kid, if I ever wanted to get my parents’ approval to do something, I knew I had to come prepared with answers to any question they might ask. This skill has evolved for me over the years and now I use it both in my personal and professional life. Whether it’s through scouring Google, traditional/theoretical literature research, or expert advice, I know that I can find the information I need to make informed decisions. (Thanks mom & dad!)

  2. I would say that self-awareness and openness to criticism are my sticky strengths. I grew up in the culture of athletics—I played volleyball from the beginner club level all the way up to the collegiate and professional levels—and if I had to pick one of the best things that sports can instill in us, it’s the ability to accept criticism. Don’t get me wrong, I have swallowed my fair share of entire humble pies in my days, but the ability to really listen to and incorporate criticism has allowed me to improve every single aspect of my life, both professional and personal.

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