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.
Think back to your K-12 school experience. Now, I want you to recall a specific example of a kindness given to you by a teacher in the building – something that resonated with you. I bet you can think of something and someone immediately — and I bet that you remember that person’s name. Teachers have those interactions with students every single day.
A teacher from my past that comes to mind was Ms. Bell — my Grade 10 English teacher. I had just moved from Toronto to Calgary and I didn’t know a soul. As I am not typically the most outgoing of personalities I must have looked like a deer in headlights. Ms. Bell took me aside one day and told me that I was to come to rehearsal next week for the school musical – Fiddler on the Roof. She wanted me in the chorus. She had no idea if could sing – heck, I barely even talked in class.
And for your information … yes, I can sing. In fact, I sing in many keys all at once. I consider it a rare talent.
“We rarely get what we feel we are entitled to in life” – Dr. Laura Schlessinger on The Dr. Laura Program (Sept 6, 2018)
I heard Dr. Laura utter these words as I was driving to a meeting. It kind of hit me like a 2×4. I pulled my car over and wrote it down.
I have heard Dr. Laura Schlessinger on-and-off for the past 20 years. I like her — but I’ve heard from others who don’t. She’s blunt and doesn’t pull any punches. What’s also interesting to note is that she has been broadcasting on radio since 1975, so I assume that she’s been doing something right for these past 44 years.
So, has she hit the right note? Was she suggesting that our sense of entitlement is bigger than it should be — that feeling an exaggerated sense of self-worth is perhaps the norm in our society?