The Challenges We Face as Educators
Our modern world is complicated. We have new technologies and opportunities to connect as a global society. But with these advances come new problems. Our students face challenges like cyberbullying, video game addiction, and social media depression. As educators, we’ve seen a spike in mental health issues like depression, anxiety, or even self-harm.
You probably have students who face these mental health issues in your classroom right now. Tragically, you may even know a student who has attempted to take their own life. Read on to learn how to teach students to be more resilient so they can navigate these significant challenges.
The World Health Organization reported that up to 20% of children globally will experience some sort of mental health challenge.
That means 1 in 5 kids in your classroom could be dealing with mental health issues.
If you are concerned about a student, please don’t hesitate to intervene. Here is a link to the warning signs and the national suicide prevention hotline. And, we all have to remember, mental health challenges can be triggered or made worse by problems at home, at school, with friends, in class, or online.
As educators, it’s hard enough to deliver engaging lessons under normal circumstances. But when our students are experiencing challenges with anxiety and depression, our job gets much more difficult. But there’s one skill that can make all the difference.
It’s the key ingredient in navigating the modern world. And it’s not reserved for those special people who have the iron will to persevere despite all odds. All humans beings have the capacity for resilience.
Anyone can increase their resilience if we give them the right tools and teach them the right strategies. Teaching resilience doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does take time to learn. In our curricula, we can walk you through how to teach your students to be more resilient. In fact, it’s such an important topic, we wrote a book about it. All people are resilient to some degree. Resilience itself comes from somewhere. We have reserves that we tap, and reserves that lie dormant.
The Four Sources of Resilience
In our research, we identified four primary sources of resilience:
- Rock Bottom
To explore the four sources of resilience in-depth, read our book!
Relational resilience is the strength we draw from our relationships with other people. When we can depend on people to be there for us emotionally, we are more resilient. But it goes both ways. When other people are depending on us, we are far more resilient. Think of the single mother working two jobs. She’s exhausted at the end of the day. But how does she find the strength to keep going? Her kids are depending on her, and she’ll do whatever it takes.
We all depend on someone. Also, someone is depending on all of us. Our connections to each other are a source of great power and enduring resilience.
Street resilience is the ability to convert our pain directly into the energy we need to outsmart and out-hustle our problems. When we take the pain of discrimination, social inequality, or disrespect and channel it into a productive outcome, we tap our street resilience.
People who tap street resilience reframe a perceived weakness or limitation and transform it into a strength. In fact, they know they have to put in the work to reach their goals. They work hard to prove the haters and naysayers wrong.
Everyone has experienced the pain of self-doubt, discrimination, or personal attacks. When we use this pain to work hard and achieve our potential, we tap our street resilience.
Just taking inventory of our resources can be inspiring. For example, physical health and well-being, mobility, access to transportation, and public Wi-Fi are all very powerful resources. When we take stock of these resources and put them to work in solving our problems, we tap our resource resilience. In a moment of adversity, some people take inventory of all the resources they have available to them. These could be talents, gifts, capabilities, relationships, assets, or programs.
Rock Bottom Resilience
Rock Bottom resilience is the turning point we hit when we feel like things can’t get any worse. It’s strange, but sometimes we to have hit a “rock bottom” moment to bounce back. Where is rock bottom? It’s different for everyone, but the effect is the same. There’s a “bounce back” that happens when we hit it.
In fact, if we are aware of these “bounce back” moments, we can ride the momentum to new highs. When we tap rock bottom resilience, we aren’t overwhelmed by the road ahead. We just put one foot in front of the other and take it one day at a time. We take control of the present, knowing it’s all we can really do anyway.
Teaching Students to Tap All Four Sources
Each of us can tap all four of these sources of resilience. However, we probably feel strong in one area and weaker in others. Teaching students to be resilient starts with self-assessment. Which sources are you tapping into right now? Is there a source that would be easiest to access? What do we need to work on and cultivate?
Our curricula will give you step-by-step strategies to help your students understand how to tap all four sources of resilience. We can’t take away our students’ challenges. But we can teach them to thrive no matter how hard things get.
To see how WhyTry can help your students cultivate resilience, schedule a demo with one of our program directors today!