Tuesday, March 18, 2014

7 Ways to Boost Resilience

I was so pleased to hear a discussion of my upcoming workshop and keynote presentation on the radio the other day. The question of how to promote Resilience in preschools has been on my mind ever since I heard Angela Duckworth’s TED talk. I urge you to check it out.

I have been applying these methods into my classes for years simply because I want all children to do their best, respect each other and become stronger not only physically but also cognitively and socially. Here are 7 ways you can promote Resilience in your classroom.

1. Coping Skills- How to relax and how to persevere. I have found Yoga breathing and sustaining Yoga stretches and poses s a great way to teach these skills. See my Yoga Kit for a simple way to integrate this into your curriculum. Don’t forget to laugh at yourself once in a while!

2. Routine Leads to Mastery- Give kids the opportunity to practice repetitive tasks. I think obstacle courses in the classroom are a great way to do this and they also improve physical, motor planning and sequencing skills.

3. Positive Vocabulary- You are the model for how to promote a positive inner dialogue. This also helps to create a respectful attitude between children. Making your discussions and comments “task specific” is important as opposed to a generic: “Good Job”.

4.  Problem-solving skills- Taking risks, making mistakes and being flexible are important traits to model to your students. Break down tasks into a step-by-step method so that you can promote small successes.

5.  Independence- Children need to feel in control and giving them jobs to do independently is a wonderful way to keep your classroom a place where they learn what it means to be responsible while also improving focusing skills

6.  Redirection- Helping to redirect behavior with coaching, and language that encourages a different choice is so much more effective than stepping in and taking over.

7. Delayed Gratification- Allowing children to wait helps them to improve patience as well as stamina.

Integrating these into your preschool classroom gives your students invaluable lessons that will provide the template for learning as they grow.

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