October 10th is World Mental Health Day (sponsored by the World Health Organization – WHO). What a great day to talk about RESILIENCE and its importance in providing students with a pathway to success.
When I went through teacher training I learned about a number things like lesson construction, effective assessments and curriculum content. We didn’t spend a lot of time learning about student resilience — in fact, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t even mentioned. And that’s probably because it wasn’t a concept being discussed among educators 30 years ago. I doubt that you could find one that incorporated it into the recipe for student success.
Resilience: The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; personal toughness or the ability to bounce back.
What I’ve discovered over my career is that a student’s success is intimately linked to their ability to withstand disappointment, failure or setbacks. Their resilience is a critical part of their success story.
As this school year draws to a close I have begun to reflect on the year that has been — and its importance to my personal and professional growth. And because I love Star Wars — I have now connected some of this learning to the wise and articulate Yoda — master of the Jedi Knights.
So, without further ado … here are some of my 2018-19 reflections as Superintendent. May the Force Be With You:
YOU WILL ONLY FIND WHAT YOU BRING IN
Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Yoda told his young apprentice (Luke Skywalker) to not take his anger, fear and weapons into the dark cave as bringing these would only result in conflict. His words proved to be prophetic.
In life we bring both our negative and positive experiences to a current situation. I reminded myself this year to leave my negative reactions at the door and remain open to new ideas, thoughts and opinions. Fear and anger do not open doors, but close them.