What is Resiliency?
Resiliency is how well a person is able to “bounce back” or recover from adversity and overcome negative experiences that often block achievement.
How can I evaluate if a student is lacking resilient characteristics?
Students demonstrate several traits that can be linked to a lack of resiliency. Students who have difficulty making friends, seem withdrawn, need constant motivation, lack self-control, tend to lose their temper easily, appear to be depressed or do not have a strong self-perception may fit this category. It should not be assumed that students with these characteristics are not resilient. Interacting with the student on a daily basis will give the opportunity to intervene as needed.
What are some risk factors that characterize students who may be in danger of dropping out of school?
- Frequent absenteeism
- Poor academic performance
- School transitions
- Detention, suspension, expulsion and/or involvement with juvenile authorities
- Value of education in the home
- Family/environmental situations
“More than any other institution except the family, schools can provide the environment and conditions that foster resiliency in today’s youth and tomorrow’s adults.” (Henderson and Milstein, 1996, p.2).
Oftentimes teachers are often unaware of the powerful effect they have on an individual child. Researchers have suggested many strategies that school districts can implement to foster resiliency in the classroom. While in this context we are looking at schools, we must also remember that any adult is capable of making an impression, good or bad, on a child. Employing the strategies listed below, on a consistent basis, will foster resiliency in all children.
Provide secure, positive environments
Create flexible learning environments
Ensure contact with supportive adults who care
Build on student strengths
Accept students as they are
Believe in their ability to be successful
Seek hidden talents
Create “circuit breaker” mechanisms
Cultivate learning approaches that build on the cultural knowledge students bring
Assistant Superintendent for Leadership & Student Success