“Out of difficult experiences — out of challenging experiences — you learn so much.”
-Arianna Huffington

How can one bounce back from the challenges or failures they face? What do they need to overcome these set-backs? They need resilience. Resilience “is the human capacity to face, overcome and ultimately be strengthened by life’s adversities and challenges” (Gerstin, 2013). Additionally, resilience is learning and teachable. Creating students who are resilient can help prepare students for any challenge they face and teach them how to overcome challenges and grow from these situations. We learn so much from challenging experiences. Those who are equipped to learn from difficult experiences will be the ones who gain the most.

As educators we can promote resiliency in the classroom by the following ways:
• Build a sense of community
• Give students the opportunity to ask for help
• Give learners the opportunity to assist one another during difficult and challenge learning activities
• Teacher learners how to reflect on the failures as opportunities for growth
• Help learners change the negative, self-defeating self-talk
(Gerstien, 2013)

In my classroom I strive to provide build a sense of community where students are face with challenges but understand that it is okay to fail. I teach them how to learn from their failures to reflect on what has happened and to look at how fix the problem next time it may arise. I tell the students that you can never fail. Failure creates growth and success. Failure is never the end product. I tell my students to meet their challenges with a “can do” attitude. I help them do away with the negative self-talk and replace it with a growth mindset. I tell them it is okay to ask for help, together we are all learning to overcome our challenges.

Building resilience in my students is helping them to be better prepared to handle the high-stakes testing environment we ask of our students. Students are able to handle challenging questions without becoming frustrated or fearing failure. My students are able to handle the stress that is associated with these tests because they look at this as a learning opportunity and an opportunity to showcase their solutions to the challenges they face. Building resilient students well help prepare them to overcome the challenges they may face in an ever changing and unpredictable environment. (Great Video on Resilience)

Gerstein, Jackie. (2013) Resilience: The Other 21st Century Skills. Edutopia.

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