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  • Writer's pictureSarah Lawrence

How to promote resilient learners in the classroom

Resilience is one of the key values many schools promote to students to persevere through something that occurs in either the school grounds or learning in the classroom. As casual relief teachers and support staff, we do have some part in promoting resilience to students especially when the classroom teacher is away.

What is resilience?

Resilience is the ability to withstand, adapt and adjust to certain obstacles not just at school but also in their social life. These skills will stick with them throughout their adulthood and be able to use these skills to bounce back from any setbacks they come across in their lives.

Why is resilience important to students?

- Can provide students with efficient problem-solving.

- Overcome the development of anxiety, stress, or depression.

- Changing a negative mindset to a positive mindset.

- Makes students more flexible

Here are some strategies to use when promoting resilience to students:

1. Create a safe and supportive learning environment.

Provide students with a safe and supportive learning environment by being approachable, let them know that you are here for them and are here to help. Encourage students to try new things, no matter the challenge. Let them know it takes time when learning something new and that it is okay, as you will get there no matter how long it takes.

2. Celebrate student progress and success.

Providing students with feedback is something we all do as teachers. We need to celebrate students’ progression in success such as their effort to keep trying to solve a mathematical problem or their efforts to keep trying no matter the number of mistakes to get there. Mention their strengths within their learning and what they have done well. This provides students with confidence within their learning.

3. Encourage participation in and outside of the classroom.

When students are doing games or specialist classes that need participation. Encourage student to give it go first before pulling out. Sometimes in Performing Arts or PE classes, students want to sit out, this is okay but do mention to them to try first before saying ‘you can’t’ or ‘won’t do it’ which are the common answers. A strategy to use is student choice. Firstly, ask the students what specific games or tasks they enjoy when in these classes, then have a class vote to make it fair. This can minimise the lack of participation from students and negative mindsets.

4. Provide opportunities to reflect.

Whether it is in the classroom or outside, there is always time to reflect. By reflecting with students, you are providing them with advice to grow and learn from their actions or thinking. Breaking down situations, issues or even assessments into smaller, less intimidating chunks can make it easier for students to stay in a positive mindset so that they are less likely to be deterred by setbacks.

We hope these strategies will support you when you feel some students need that positive mindset and to persevere through any kind of situation at school.

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