The Tough Gets Going: How to Build Resilience Among Your Students

kids smiling at school

Academic success is not about being good at school lessons — it’s about pursuing to be better despite not being good yet. A lot of teachers understand this well, given that so many smart students miss out on maximising their full potential precisely because they’re afraid to try or try again, for that matter. Resilience is a valuable asset, but it’s rarely, intentionally built in classroom environments. If you want to raise successful students, who can weather failures and setbacks, consider these resilience-building strategies:

Discuss ‘heroes of resilience’.

Kids learn best when they have a model to refer to. So, whenever you discuss literary pieces, look for characters of resilience you can highlight. Ask probing questions, like ‘what are the challenges the character faced?’ or ‘what are the strengths they used to help them succeed?’. Arrange your classroom in such a way that your students will be free to talk about their insights. You can probably dedicate a space in one corner of your room where there are school furniture chairs students can lounge in whenever it’s discussion time. The cosier the setting is, the easier it will be for pupils to open up.

Teach them to solve problems.

Tough people don’t cower in the face of problems; instead, they face it. Your students should be able to find that determination to confront math problems, and literary riddles head on. So, incorporate these problem-solving activities in your lessons — but package it in a way that’s engaging, not threatening. Do a game or a treasure hunt inside the room. Since you’ll be reconfiguring your classroom space a lot, it’s best to invest in mobile, flexible furniture to accommodate your activity needs.

Encourage creativity.

Resilient students can overcome difficulties in life because they can think outside what’s supposedly limiting them. They have a different perspective on things, which comes from their creative minds. Develop the same creative thinking in your students. Let them do dioramas of the ecosystem and photosynthesis. Encourage them to write poems and short stories. Try their hand on abstract painting. And don’t neglect to display their art. Post them on your walls or keep them in display cabinets. Invest in good storage units for supplies.

Are you pushing your students towards academic success by training them to be resilient? If you’re not intentional about it, perhaps it’s time to recalibrate your priorities.