When I talk to head teachers about the course often they want to know how they can make the student more resilient and if you have read this far in the blog maybe that’s what you want too! My answer to that is that YOU can't make the students more resilient. What you can do is learn how to improve resilience and help the students make themselves more resilient. It is at this stage in conversations with Head teachers when I have probably lost the chance of delivering the course as I point out the students will not become more resilient because of the teachers if the teachers aren't behaving in a resilient manner.
It seems we have all become Veruca Salt from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and "I don’t care how. I want it now". We want a quick fix; we want immediate results and often we don't want to put the effort in. Is that how you teach children to read? I think not!
I would love you to look at resilience from the point of view of purely supporting your colleagues, there are so many benefits to doing that but I am not naive I know if there are outcomes for the students in your care then it becomes more appealing. So, this is what I would do:
Step 1: Talk about it
Everyone is different. Everyone feels pressure in different ways. It is not a weakness nor should we be judged for it. Many of staffrooms across the country have a real problem with being able to be open about mistakes, yet that’s what we expect the students to do. There is a fear of being judged and this is just compounding the problem of external pressures. Perfection does not exist and the sooner our staffrooms acknowledge and embrace that the better.
Step 2: Learn about it
The reason there is so much interest in resilience is because it is a learnable skill. It is made up of 7 different elements some of which we will use with ease, some of which will trip us up but all of which can be improved upon so the opportunity is there once you understand it.
Step 3: Practice
As much as YOU cannot make the students resilient I cannot make you resilient. You need to understand it, learn the coping strategies and practice. Stand up and take responsibility for yourselves.
Step 4: Learn how to relate it to children
Now we are at the stage many of you want to start at and we are looking for schools to trail some new workshops we have developed for the students so if that's an incentive to get to this stage then get in touch. How we do this is obviously age dependant but there are things you can work on with children of all ages such as explanatory styles, calming techniques and thinking traps.
Step 5: Talk about it with children
Being open about things that challenge us, showing children that pressure and mistakes are all essential for us to learn and improve and celebrating the successes will help embed a different way of thinking. Understanding and noticing when your brain distorts the truth and plays tricks on you is essential to boosting resilience.
Step 6: Practice
This is a subject I am passionate about and know can make a difference to us all daily if you would like to know more do not hesitate to contact me. firstname.lastname@example.org