Teacups are fragile and used to being served. When they encounter a challenge, they “shatter”.
Parents and teachers may do things in the name of caring or efficiency that hamper a child’s ability to develop a tolerance for frustration and failure, and the ability to “bounce back.” It’s very easy for many teachers to get so caught up in making the day go smoothly that they miss opportunities to support the kind of initiative in children that both build skills and inspire feelings of connection and contribution.
What hamper a child’s ability to develop resilience?
- Micromanaging in the name of efficiency and love
- Pampering (providing all “wants”)
- Giving too many choices
- Emphasizing success over effort
- Making sure children never experience any disappointment
What might encourage the development of resilience?
- Building connections
- Believing in kids strength
- Involving them usefully and letting them contribute
- Allowing them to try new things
- Allowing kids to fail and learn from it
- Encouragement (VS praise)
- Teaching necessary skills and setting them to succeed
Think about the parts of the day in which you as a teacher feel most pressured by the schedule.
What messages are you sending children when you feel that pressure? (“This job is TOO big to even try”)
What are some ways you could promote children’s initiative even during these high-pressure moments? (“no job is TOO BIG if you do it by SMALL steps”)
Suggestions (just a few):
Consider making a child-sized cleanup kit for your classroom. Get input from the Children (to whatever extent they can participate) about what it might contain.
The possibilities include a cleaning supply holder, a spray bottle containing water and a few drops of child-safe soap, sponges in animal shapes, small but sturdy cleaning gloves, a child-sides mop, a broom with dustpan.
You might also create a job rotation system (and a chart) so children can rotate using different cleaning supplies for different jobs.
Let children help! Involve them usefully!
“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall” – Nelson Mandela