Resilience (Mindset #4)

Saturday, February 6, 2016

     For the last 4 weeks, we have been using the ideas from A Mindset for Learning to promote the mindsets of optimism, persistence, flexibility, resilience, and empathy at Hiawatha School.  Check out these posts to read more about the mindsets, or look through #hiawathapride on Twitter.


This week's mindset is an important one.  

Resilience: The ability to bounce back and recover from setbacks or failures.
When you have trouble, you bounce back and try again.

Here is our One Sheet for the week, and the whole file where you can find the other mindsets.

     Resilient people who fail don't usually give up.  They bounce back and recover from disappointment.  They usually try again, and are able to have persistence in a task.   Often, they have different ways that they can try to try again because they see things with flexibility.  But, what makes they try again in the first place? What do they get back up and try again?  In my opinion, it is having optimism and realistic beliefs in the first place that allows them to be resilient.

     If you believe you can do something, and you have a realistic goal, it is much easier to have resilience in the face of challenge or failure.  

     Take this famous quote by Yoda, for example.  When kids read it, they often think that Yoda means that you should just be able to do something and get it done the first time.

"Do or do not.  There is no try."

But, when you watch the video clip and see the quote in context, it takes on a different meaning.

Taking Luke Skywalker out of the conversation, you have: 

"So certain are you.  Always with you it cannot be done.
{It's} Only different in your mind.  You must unlearn what you have learned.
Do, or do not.  There is no try."

     If, in your mind, you don't believe that you can actually accomplish the task (optimism) you are way more unlikely to show flexibility and persistence in achieving it.  It is harder to have resilience when you don't believe in yourself.  Thanks, Master Yoda, for reminding us of that.

     Resilience is not something that our students need just when solving a math problem.  The truth is, the real world is filled with challenges for our kids.  Especially as they grow a little older and they become aware of the world outside of themselves, it can be harder and harder to be resilient.  Many times, they don't have control over their situations because they are kids.  But, they could have control over their mindsets, and the ability to bounce back even in the midst of struggles.  Take this scene from Inside Out, for example.  
(Thanks, +Tyler Haar for comparing the movie to Crenshaw today.  This scene can totally be watched after reading a few of the chapters in Crenshaw to compare and contrast resilience!)

     Another example that could be used with students is the resilience that athletes have when they compete.  They may fall, but always get up.  There are many athletes, like Michael Jordan, who could be used to teach that bouncing back from struggle can lead to success.  I really like this video, though, because it shows an Olympic runner who fell and got up, but didn't win the race.  Resilience doesn't mean that we always WIN.  It means that we keep going despite the obstacles and challenges ahead of us.

Test your own resilience!  Ask yourself:
How quickly do we recover when we get to our destination late?
Or burn dinner?
Or get lost?
Or lose our cell phone?
Do we rebound in a few minutes, or is the whole day lost?
How quickly do we bounce back?

     Beach Balls have resilience!  In the book, Mraz and Hertz talk about how Ginsburg and Jablow (2011) use a beach ball as a metaphor for resilience.  Beach balls float on the water.  Now matter how far down you push it, it always comes back to the surface.  It bounces back and recovers quickly.  If you click on this link, you can see my son and I test it out in our bathtub.  


     How do we do this in a classroom?  We should develop resiliency in a climate that supports it and models it.  This is not a mindset that we can just name, and expect them to learn.  My son learned the word pretty quickly, and was using it in the video in just three minutes.  But, he doesn't HAVE resilience because he name it. We need to have an classroom environment that models risk taking, and learning from mistakes, and celebrating the learning process over the product.  


Ok, Hiawatha!  Let's explore RESILIENCE!  #hiawathapride

How does your classroom embrace resilience?  
How do students show resilience?
How are we using the rest of the mindsets with resilience?

1 comment:

  1. Love this!!! Maybe we could duplicate the beach ball experiment at school??? Thanks so much Leah! :)