Creating Resilience in Classrooms

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M Ilyas Kalhoro
The word resilience refers to the ability to face and overcome challenging and trying situations in life. It can also be defined as the ability to recover quickly from difficulties and adversities. Resilience is necessary for the human thriving .It helps to develop mentally healthy and adaptable people. If someone is resilient , he would be mentally and emotionally strong enough to face and overcome the difficult situations. Most of teachers in the schools of our society are more concerned about teaching students reading and writing . They don’t pay heed to equipping them with the important life skills ,such as resilience , without which education is incomplete . Given the susceptibility of children to difficult life events and their lack of ability to confront these ,it is necessary that they should be taught resilience in classrooms. Life is not easy. It presents tough experiences to everyone ; no matter whether he is an adult or a teenager . The adults through their life experiences somehow are able to face such demanding situations , but the teenagers may not have such an ability. The examples of the troublesome situations that children might face are; death in family, conflictual relationships between the parents, moving to school, moving to other house, mental suffering caused by physical or sexual assault , sense of being belonging to poor family and so on. In order to be mentally prepared for confronting such situations ,a child needs to be resilient . Otherwise , not only will his academic performance be negatively affected , but he will remain prone to mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression. Teachers need to identify non-resilient students and then try to work on them. It is not a rocket science to distinguish between a resilient and a non-resilient student. A resilient student enthusiastically involves and engages himself in the classroom activities, confidently talks about what he needs ,such as getting permission for going to toilet or asking questions related to taught-something , seems ready for learning , cooperates with the fellow-students, looks healthy and energetic and displays positive outlook. On the other hand a non-resilient student shows less interest in classroom activities , looks less confident , less energetic , and less interactive. Feeling heartened on small issues, exhibiting less concentration, lacking ability of easily forgeting distressful events or incidents , and displaying dull attitude are some other signs of a non-resilient child. Let’s try to know what can be done in classrooms to teach resilience to students . To begin with , teachers should try to create confidence in students. This can be done by encouraging students to read their lessons aloud, to ask questions , to come on dice to present something , to participate in co-curricular activities, and to answerwhatever asked by the teacher. The teachers should also try to create such an environment in the classroom in which students could foster their connection with each other and with the teacher. Effort should be made to make a child understand that he also enjoys an important place and is cared about . The teachers should value the advice or any suggestion of the students . If these suggestion can’t be followed , then they be convinced about it with honour. Teachers should try to reform the character of students . Students should be taught that actions have consequences so that they do not engage on such actions whose consequences could cause mental suffering to them . Besides , teachers should be caring and sympathetic for their students . They should be so friendly in the classroom that students do not hesitate to talk with them . In this way students would get more and more interactive in the class. If the teacher interact with his students , he can recognize mental state of his students and can work on the minds of students accordingly . Moreover, teachers should try to incorporate courage in the minds of their students. The students should be taught that they should not be afraid of failures ,or they should not be disheartened at a loss as it is a part of life . Confrontation with the difficult situations or events of life is a very important skill of life that teachers should try to equip the students with. Here It is relevant to mention the letter of former US President Abraham Lincoln to the teacher of his son . He wrote to the teacher “Teach him if you can – how to laugh when he is sad, teach him there is no shame in tears. Teach him there can be glory in failure……..Teach him to have sublime faith in himself”. This is how the U.S President wanted his son to be trained in classroom. Furthermore , teachers should teach students how much it is important to have the ability of self-control . The lack of self-control makes one loose temper on trivial matters . Self control gives strength for confronting the challenging situations of life . Teachers should try to motivate students to control their own minds as this self-control would lead them to real success in life. Last but not the least , Teachers should more and more involve every student in the classroom activity. This involvement will not only boost their confidence , but willl also infuse in them skills to socially engage in society .To sum up , teachers need to create resilience in the classrooms . They should teach their students to be brave and bold as such an attitude can bring them near to the real success in life . In the words of Booker T Washington , a renowned American educator ” I have learned that success is not to be measured so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles overcome while trying to succeed.” The greatest gift that a teacher can give to his students is definitely making them emotionally and mentally strong ,that is making them resilient.