As you get to know my work as an educator, you will find that my approach is rooted in strengths-based learning and assessment wrapped in whole child development. What I have experienced both through academic research and practical boots on the groundwork in the field of learning disabilities is that even though our main objective is to teach our students to read, to write, and to more fully express their intelligence, there are opportunities for tuning into values and characteristics that will serve our students well both now and in the future. As our September 3rd school opening gets closer, conversations with teachers and parents alike have reminded me of the importance of nurturing resilience in ourselves and in our students. If ever we needed to bolster our collective resilience, now is the time.
The resilience movement in education began as a way to better understand why children reach different levels of success when faced with the same challenges and environments as other children. Resilience is a quality our students already possess. Our job is to nurture it. When we help our students recognize and build upon their strengths, abilities, and competencies, their confidence grows stronger and their resilience is fortified. As you have conversations with your children about school reopening, one way that you can draw out or strengthen resilience in your child is to take new and unfamiliar processes and procedures and make them known. This can be done through (a) modeling, learning by imitation, (b) role play, learning what to do and how to do it, (c) constructive feedback or positive reinforcement, and (d) generalization, that is, taking these skills from practice into real-life settings. Resilience is strengthened when children develop positive coping strategies to overcome stressors and challenges. We will be working on resilience in our community so we can all develop positive coping strategies to overcome stressors and challenges together.