innovatED Magazine - Issue 3 - Autumn 2019

IndependentSchoolsPortal

A lively mix of news, articles, opinion, research, insight and regulatory updates. We take a global perspective and bring the latest developments and outstanding practice from across the world and across different sectors to enable educators to deliver the very best for their pupils. Produced by an experienced and knowledgeable teaching and school leadership team, innovatED is a termly must-read for all staff rooms.

Emotional resilience

Emotional resilience is not about being tough, but more to do with

outlook and attitude. It is also intrinsically linked to how children

perceive themselves against their peers. It is entirely possible to be

deeply sensitive and emotional but remain unaffected by the actions

of others. Likewise, it is possible to be outgoing and seemingly

confident but inwardly vulnerable to the smallest of comments from

classmates.

Finding ways to encourage a strong sense of self can be crucial to this

idea of resilience. If a child is secure with their own identity and

possesses a solid support system, they are less likely to be affected by

the opinions of others.

Foster happiness, or more specifically, optimism. This has been found

to be one of the key characteristics of those displaying high levels of

resilience. If you are more inclined to look for the positives in a

challenging situation, altering your approach with a view to success, it

can lead to a more triumphant outcome.

Six takeaways:

1. Play

Problem solving is a creative process. Anything that

strengthens a child’s thinking skills will nurture their

resilience.

2. The language of problem-solving

Self-talk is such an important part of problem-solving.

Teacher’s words are powerful because they are the

foundation upon which children build their own selftalk.

Rather than solving the problems for them, start

to give them the language to solve their own.

3. Don’t rush to the rescue.

Exposure to stresses and challenges during childhood

will help to ensure that they are more able to deal

with stress during adulthood. There is strong

evidence that these early experiences cause positive

changes in the prefrontal cortex that will protect

against the negative effects of future stress.

Risk-taking

Risk taking is the act or fact of doing something that involves danger or

risk in order to achieve a goal

The traditional school prospectus picture of risk-taking typically

involves children clambering on logs, and rightly so. Risk taking should

start young and often the outdoor environment can be a great place

for this to be nurtured. However, the mistake that is often made is that

the lessons learnt in this outdoor environment are not made explicit

enough to carry through to academic situations.

It’s a school’s responsibility to provide an environment, both inside and

out, where the children feel safe enough to take risks. As with

resilience, so much of developing a risk-taking attitude centres around

the appropriate use of language.

4. Be Scared

Facing fear can be stimulating. Overcoming fear is

empowering. (Providing that suitable coping

strategies are securely in place.)

5. Safe and considered risks

Age-appropriate freedom lets children learn where

the boundaries lie, it encourages them to think about

their decisions and teaches them that they can cope

with situations that go wrong.

6. Be a model

Imitation is a powerful way to learn. The small humans

in your life will want to be just like you, and they’ll be

watching everything. Let them see how you deal with

disappointment, and allow them to share in the

jubilation of your success.

Autumn 2019 | innovatED | Issue 3 | Page 31

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