As you shift to looking at students through the lens of resilience, you may notice that your attitude, enthusiasm and idealism towards teaching & working with youth begins to increase. You may notice that student behaviors effect you in a less personal way. Also, it may seem as though you have more energy and ideas to use with some of the "difficult" students you have in your classroom.
It can be an enlightening view. It isn't that you're not being realistic, but rather, looking at the student inside out. You may be amazed at what a gentle shift in thinking may create for you & students.
It is hoped, that the world will look different to you. You will begin to see adults and other students in your classroom, who you realize have had someone to help them in their resilient journey. Your resilience-based outlook will include:
~ A realization & belief that people who endure have had a key & crucial adult in their life that is / was:
* Lead in a positive directions
* Tell truth in a proactive & meaningful way
~ Focuses on student strengths, not pathology.
~ Has an appreciation of the student’s struggles.
~ Has implemented and retried a series of interventions and solutions generated from what the student thinks will solve their problems based on their past experience and hopes for the future.
~ Possesses a hopeful & energizing approach with youth.
I think that one of the greatest gifts we can offer to our students is one of hope. Recognizing resilience as a means to survival and endurance gives me hope that I can assist youth in utilizing their strengths in various ways. I also hope that it will do the same for you & your students.
*Thank you to Michael Kelly, LCSW for allowing me to share some of his information in this series. Mr. Kelly is a speaker and works for the Chicago Center for Family Health.