Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Resilience; A reflection of Promising Practices

On November 5, 2016 I attended Promising Practices where the keynote speaker Robert Brooks lectured about resilience and the importance of being a resilient student and active part of society.
Resilience is being put down and making mistakes but learning from them in a mindful way. Mindsets are the assumptions and expectations which we as humans create for ourselves as well as our peers and this guides our behaviors. Brooks discusses how reinforcement of positive emotions and purpose plays a significant role in creating a climate in which hope and resilience will thrive, he calls this The Island of Competence! After the keynote we separated into the workshops we previously chose and from there we meet with two more instructors in a far smaller group and discussed "Resilience Through Mindfulness" as well as "Resilience Through Play". In these workshops we turned our theory into practice and used mindfulness and play as a way to help build resilience. I thoroughly enjoyed both workshops and feel as though I left with a real tangible sense of what resilience is and how to utilize it. Here are some examples of traits portrayed by an emotionally resilient person
The material we discussed in these lessons are not far fetched from the types of discussions we cultivate in our FNED classroom. We talked about how in order to create a healthy environment to grow resilient children it is up to the educator to create "safe spaces" for these ideas to grow. We also discussed how the tougher your life the more resilient you'll be.

Through reading the article "Safe Spaces" by August we understand that it is impossible for for people to learn in an environment that feels unsafe, cold, and unwelcoming. August says "classrooms are not neutral spaces- they are charged with emotion" and it is largely up to the educators to create these safe spaces so students may excel and create a sense of belonging. Brooks would agree with August, he believes that it is up to us as future educators to advocate and protect students in a positive and warm environment within our classrooms. This means no one will be discriminated against no one based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other means. Brooks says that by creating these types of environments for learning the students are sure to progress and personally improve.
If you are unsure how to create these types of safe spaces in your classroom Rebecca Alber outlines 20 Tips for Creating Safe Spaces!

In articles "Amazing Grace" and "The Land of Limitations" Kozol and Kristrof talk about social and economic class vs. opportunity. They say that people from the lower class bracket often do not grow beyond their social limits or economic barriers. They insist that "your outcome is largely determined by your beginning" and that demographics create a huge gap for opportunity blaming society for their outcome. On the other hand Brooks says that the tougher you have it the more likely you are to become resilient and the more likely you are to use this tool to benefit your outcome. People who grow in a garden full of racism and poverty have to work much harder to gain the same opportunities of someone in a higher class bracket. This means that these types of people are the kind who are less likely to take their privileges for granted and often see the positives in small things. In cases these types of resilient people live in a way that happiness will proceed success in return making them happier people. My beliefs lay somewhere in the middle. I understand that where you begin in life plays a huge role in the type of opportunities achievable to you but i also believe that a persons outcome is of what they make it. Kristof and I believe that in some cases by making the right choices and working hard for what you believe in you can overcome the probability.
Here is an article which discusses how to rise above social conditioning in order to live a wholesome life.

I myself am a resilient person, some of the obstacles I have over come throughout my whole life proves two things; 1, you are what you make of yourself. If you work hard, set high goals for yourself, and don't give up because of your situation then you can graduate high school as a homeless adolescent and be the second in your family to attain a college degree. It is possible!

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