Why is it that some students can cope with adversity while others react with ferocity? Bouncing back from challenging situations and adapting to changes is resilience.
Here are some of the ways that Big Fish Tutors try to cultivate resilience in their students.
Building Positive Relationships with Students
A good tutor-student relationship involves nurturing the positive characteristics of students like empathy, compassion, forgiveness, and optimism. A great way to build a positive relationship is to teach by example. Tutors should exercise the same qualities that they want to see in their students so that students can learn by watching them.
Students can better use these qualities in their lives when they feel seen, understood, and valued by their tutors. This happens when educators are attuned to what the child needs and are ready to give them academic and emotional support.
Research studies have suggested that factors like effective instructions, teacher autonomy, and passion can increase student engagement. This can lead to better performance from students.
Promote Discussions About Human Resilience
A great way to promote discussions on human resilience is through a focus on historical or literary characters. For young students, reading a book about heroic deeds can foster an environment to talk about resilience.
For example, after they have read a book, you can ask them questions like who the hero of the story was, what qualities they possessed, what choices they had to make, and what did the hero learn. Tutors can then ask students how they can use the same strengths as the hero to overcome obstacles in their personal lives.
Beyond books, you can discuss the real lives of political activists, scientists, and inventors, and ask the students what they achieved through resilience, what setbacks they had to endure and how they overcame them to reach their goals. This can help students reflect on their strengths.
Students have diverse personalities and hence, have different strengths. Some students may not be aware of the strengths they possess while others may be too shy to talk about them. A student who may be struggling at science may be a prodigy when it comes to art. A student who may be quick of temper may also be the one who is the most empathetic in the class. A tutor needs to find these strengths in the student and cultivate them in a way that they counterbalance a student’s weaknesses, thus helping students prepare themselves for the time when something doesn’t go their way.
Encourage Learning from Failure
Parents often set very high expectations of their children, and when their children fail to deliver, they often react with disappointment and anger, creating a low sense of self-worth in the children. In class, tutors can let their students know that failure is a part of life and is very important if one wants to become a resilient person.
Tutors should establish a classroom culture which welcomes mistakes and failures and treats them as a valuable part of learning. They should cultivate an environment where all students are praised for their effort and perseverance, not only those who get high grades. Above all, they should also educate parents to support their children through their failures.
Resilient students are better able to cope with grief and disappointment, learn from their mistakes, and accept changes in life. As tutors, there is a lot that we can do whilst working with parents to build resilience in students that will result in better performance academically, emotionally, and socially.