Steve Heisler

Teacher Author Speaker


"Every single child wants to be successful. The problem is, if they can't be successful at being successful, they'll be successful at screwing up. Our job as educators is to change the latter to the former."    

- from the The Missing Link by Steve Heisler

What It Means to Succeed

Paul Tough’s NY Times Magazine article, Who Gets to Graduate, clearly underscores what I learned early on in my high school teaching career and what, ultimately, became the core of my teaching practice and the subject of my recently published book: The Missing Link: Teaching and Learning Critical Success Skills

The difference between potential and achievement is rarely a matter of intelligence and almost always a matter of the ability to be successful. The frequent argument from colleagues that teaching such success skills – self-regulation and persistence primarily – is the role of parents is unarguably true but the reality is if they don’t learn them at home, and they don’t learn them in school, where, pray tell, will they learn them? 

What Dr. Laude’s work confirms is that is never to late to help students develop the habit of applying success skills but like most learning, developing such habits earlier is simply easier and better. 

Simply put, our schools need to do a better job of intentionally teaching students HOW to succeed. If they don't, they are unintentionally teaching only to those who already know how to succeed and teaching the rest to fail.