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Resilience & Grit
Celebrate your Struggles
Building Resilience & Grit
With the turbulence of life, building resilience has now become a necessity of survival. Students are faced with challenges, high expectations and peer-pressure now, more than ever, which can be very difficult to manage. Educators around the world are asking themselves: how do we teach resilience and help our students develop a growth mindset in a way that students can understand the value of learning a lesson and not be upset when they don’t reach their goals on the first try?
In fact it's all the lessons learned while attempting to reach our goals that builds character, perseverance and a strong worth ethic. Growing the strength of your will power and dedication is just as important as reaching your goals.
"It ain't about how hard you HIT It's about how hard you can GET HIT and keep moving FORWARD"
- Rocky Balboa
Characteristics of Resilient Teachers
What does It Mean to be Resilient?
To be resilient is to have the capacity and skills to be able to bounce back from adversity or negative experiences and adapt well to them (Carney, 2015, p. 130). These experiences include failure, disappointment, discouragement, loss, rejection, etc. as well as more serious trauma and life-threatening events. It also includes the capacity to manage strong feelings and impulses, to make realistic plans and carry them out, and having a positive view of oneself and confidence in one’s strengths and abilities. Additionally, resilient people have skill in communication and problem-solving. Resilience helps us cope with life’s problems and manage during tough times.
What are the Key Components of Resilience?
Among the key features of resilience are having caring and supportive relationships with family and friends, but also with work colleagues. A sense of connectedness or belongingness to one’s place of work, a feeling of mastery or accomplishment, and having expectations of success are also important components.
Why is Resilience Critical for Teachers?
Teaching can be an inherently stressful profession. Teachers have multiple and co-occurring responsibilities and challenges, answering to multiple masters often with competing demands and expectations. How teachers respond to these responsibilities, challenges, and stressors is determined in large measure by how resilient they are.
Mindsets That Promote Resilience: When Students Believe That Personal Characteristics Can Be Developed
David Scott Yeager & Carol Dweck
Because challenges are ubiquitous, resilience is essential for success in school and in life. In this article we review research demonstrating the impact of students’ mindsets on their resilience in the face of academic and social challenges. We show that students who believe (or are taught) that intellectual abilities are qualities that can be developed (as opposed to qualities that are fixed) tend to show higher achievement across challenging school transitions and greater course completion rates in challenging math courses. New research also shows that believing (or being taught) that social attributes can be developed can lower adolescents’ aggression and stress in response to peer victimization or exclusion, and result in enhanced school performance. We conclude by discussing why psychological interventions that change students’ mindsets are effective and what educators can do to foster these mindsets and create resilience in educational settings.
Michael Ungar, Patrick Russell & Gerry Connelly
A scoping review of programs targeting middle school students suggests that resilience is seldom the result of interventions within schools alone, or any other single system that provides services to students. Instead, resilience is shown to be a multidimensional construct, involving both exposure to risk and access to multiple internal and external resources. Based on a scoping review of outcomes from 36 interventions, we highlight the elements of successful programs with vulnerable students and reasons for why some programs appear to be less effective or have a negative impact. Less successful programs tended to be those that did not include a cultural component or show sensitivity to contextual variations among students like the size of their community, access to other services and supports, or the economic status of the child’s family. The biases of funders, researchers and educators also influence the choice of resilience-promoting intervention made available in a school rather than the specific needs of the targeted student population. We conclude with several recommendations for more effective interventions with students and the implications of our findings to the evaluation of program outcomes.
Teacher Development: Perspectives, Opportunities and Challenges: Developing Resilient Teachers: New Perspectives on the role of “Grit” in Effective Teacher Development
Wendy Barber & Ian Brown
The question at hand is that while teacher candidates may take courses in mental health to understand their future students, they do not have specific or measured instruction in resilience, grit, and mental health for themselves. This paper postulates that the development of resilience skills and grit can provide one potential and impactful solution to the problem of new teacher attrition.
This paper describes a case study using a qualitative ethnographic research methodology that examines the significant role of developing resilience and grit within a pre-service teacher education program. The study site is a Canadian university Faculty of Education paired with a local public school board. Research indicates that attrition rates for new teachers are an issue for both administrators and policy-makers, as well as District School Boards. The question at hand is that while teacher candidates may take courses in mental health to understand their future students, they do not have specific or measured instruction in resilience, grit, and mental health for themselves. This paper postulates that the development of resilience skills and grit can provide one potential and impactful solution to the problem of new teacher attrition.
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