Tuesday, November 04, 2008

nurturing resilience in our students

my notes from Dr. Robert Brooks presentation at the VAIS annual conference

Important questions to ask yourself as a teacher and of your school:
- how do we identify islands of competence in students?
- if a teaching strategy is not working out, am I willing to ask myself what I can do differently?
- what is the mindset of my school?
- do I believe in the capacity of students to overcome adversity and become hopeful and resilient?
- am I a person whom children can gain strength from? (Dr. Julius Segal describes this as a "charismatic adult")
- do I focus more on what they are getting "in here" than about what they aren't getting "out there"?
- do I use discipline to promote self-discipline and self-control?
- am I empathetic and able to see the world through the eyes of my students?
- what words would I like students to use to describe me versus what words would they actually use today?

are our students resilient? in school, do they:
- believe that there are people who can help and support them
- believe they can solve problems and make decisions
- define their own areas of competence without denying problematic areas
- believe that they can contribute to and make a difference in the world
- possess self-discipline and the ability to think before they act
- believe that mistakes are experiences from which to learn rather than feel defeated

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