RELENTLESS: Cultivating Grit and Consistency of Effort, Hair, Spring 2020

Course Number: EDU 5515 C30
Instructor: Shawn Hair
Location: Online
Dates & Times: March 2 - April 6, 2020
Credits: 3 Graduate Credits
Tuition: $975

Note: Course payment or purchase order of $975, payable to Castleton University, is due at the time of registration. A purchase order number can be entered into the online registration form. If paying by check, please mail the check to: Financial & Registration Services, Castleton University, 62 Alumni Drive, Castleton, VT 05753. To help us ensure that your payment is applied to the correct course, PLEASE WRITE “CFS” IN THE CHECK MEMO LINE. Thank you.

Course Description

This course explores what mental toughness entails to young minds and why it matters. This course will ask participants to analyze their current classroom of students and determine which students are gritty and which are not. Different case scenarios whereby passion and perseverance versus talent relative to achievement will be highlighted. Participants will explore ways to teach GRIT in their classes and educational environment through the creation of classroom activities. Learn techniques to demand more of yourself than was thought possible and give students those tools to believe every dream they imagine, everything that is heard and felt in your sleep is not a fantasy, that’s deep instinct and how to tap into that RELENTLESS potential!  

Course Objectives/Goals

At the end of the course, successful students will be able to: 

  • Develop an awareness and understanding of Grit as it relates to fulfilling one's’ potential and student achievement 
  • Apply Grit strategies and practices that foster student achievement
  • Anticipate potential failures with students and create a plan for changes to be adopted in accordance with skill and overcoming challenges
  • Create activities that incorporate highly dynamic instructional techniques into the classroom 
  • Create lessons and activities that will promote interactive learning
  • Utilize techniques and standards to create, plan, and design task cards, classroom activities and bell ringers to that meet the objectives of GRIT education

Course Expectations


  • Completion of seven modules using the Canvas learning management system through Baker University is mandatory (module assignments and due dates/times outlined on Canvas course homepage). You may log in at any time of the day or night to complete the assignment
  • Completion of the module projects and discussion boards
  • Completion of the final project


  • The discussion board is a crucial part of this class. Not only will you be asked to respond to a weekly question, but you will also need to read and respond to others to fully benefit from this learning experience. 
  • Stay on task and answer the question being addressed 
  • Be respectful and polite at all times when responding to your fellow classmates even if you do not share the same opinion
  • Read all posts so you do not repeat what someone else has written 
  • No cursing 
  • Please be thoughtful and use complete sentences. 
  • All discussion comments should be made before the start of the next Module. 
  • Make sure you check the discussion later in the week to see what others said about your comments

Participation Rubric: 
There are four modules. You will receive a participation grade for each module. The scoring is as follows: 

3 You participated in all components of the module.
2 You participated in most components of the module. 
1 You participated in some components of the module. 
0 You did not participate in the module. 

The sum of your 4 participation grades will be divided by 12 for a final participation grade. 

Discussion Rubric: 
3 You thoroughly participated in the discussion (3 or more posts). Your contributions were relevant to the posted topic(s), detailed & keep the conversation moving. 
2 You participated in the discussion (2 posts). Your contributions were relevant to the posted topic(s), & helped keep the conversation moving. 
1 You participated in the discussion (1 post). Your contributions were somewhat relevant to the posted topic(s). 
0 You did not participate in the discussion.

Learning Activity/Case Study Rubric: 
3 The activity was thoroughly completed, demonstrates deep reflection about the topic, and provides evidence of genuine understanding of how the assignment relates to your professional work. 
2 The activity was completed, demonstrates reflection about the topic, and provides evidence of understanding how the assignment relates to your professional work. 
1 The activity was partially completed, demonstrates minimal reflection about the topic, and provides little evidence of understanding how the assignment relates to your professional work. 
0 The activity was not completed.

Required Texts

Books (optional) - Instructor will also provide selected handouts with relevant information.
Grover, Tim S, Relentless From Good to Great to Unstoppable. Scribner, New York, NY, 2013; ISBN 9781476710938. 
Angela Duckworth. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. New York, NY: Scribner, 2016, 352 pages

Course Outline

Module 1: Topics and Content
1. Define GRIT: 
2. How Gritty are You? 
3. Establishing your own GRIT score and reflection: 
4. 2 Predictors of success: 
5. Gritty in Real Life
Module 1 Project:
1. Case Study: Bruno Mars - Don’t Give Up 
Discussion Board Module 1:
• Introduce yourself! Please post a brief introduction and educational experience. Respond to 2 other students 
• Reflection: What is grit? Take the “How Gritty Are you” - are you surprised by your score? Can you predict how your students will score? 
• Case Study: Bruno Mars

Module 2: Topics and Content
1. How can GRIT be taught? 
2. Self-Control and Success
Module 2 Projects: 
1. Admiral McRaven's "If you want to change the World" 
Discussion Board Module 2
1. Case Study: Admiral McRaven's "If you want to change the World" - Answer the resource - guided questions - this is also a resource you can use in class. 

Module 3: Topics and Content:
1. Relentless: Being a Cleaner (pressure, going into a zone, push yourself harder when everyone else has had enough, decisive decision making)
Module 3 Projects:
1. Task cards (create at least 3) - examples on Canvas
Discussion Board Module 3: 
2. Post your task cards (at least 3 task cards) and how you see these being incorporated into your educational environment. 

Module 4: Topics and Content: 
1. Coolers, Closers and Cleaners 
2. Which of these 3 define you - how can you get to a higher level
How can kids be taught resilience? 
Module 4 Projects: 
1. Case Study:
2. Bell Ringers - create 3 bell ringer activities for teaching GRIT and Relentlessness character education - you will be assigned a partner for collaboration for this project - partnering will be according to interests and educational situation 
Discussion Board Module 4 
• Collaboration partner and individual reflection (posted in Canvas)
• Post 3 collaborative bell ringer activities 

Module 5: Topics and Content:
1. Creating an anti-fragile athlete in today’s instant gratification world 
2. Visualization: Playing in the Zone (Young Champion’s Mind) 
Module 5 Projects:
1. Attitude over Adversity - Situation Role-Plays
Discussion Board Module 5:
1. Download the Attitude over Adversity situations and champions’ responses. Take the inventory and reflect on your responses in 2-3 thoughts.
2. Create a situation/response activity for your student-athletes tailored to your sport/activity. Create at least 4 situations - this will also be used in your final project. 

Module 6/7: Putting it all together - Final Project
• Final project (Module 4 Project) 
• Summary of Learning: (Directions)
Final Projects:
1. The final project will integrate the student’s learning of all lessons. The materials will be synthesized into a final project that illustrates how the content will be used in the teacher’s classroom. 
2. Summary of Learning - Develop a statement off of how the concept of GRIT and being Relentless plays a role in instruction and impactful student development. Reflect on each module 2-3 takeaways for your student-athletes. 
Discussion Board Module 6/7 : 
• Post Final Project (Summary of Learning)

For Additional Registration Information:

Shawn Hair
(913) 993-6662

Register online now!