Monday, March 2, 2015

Skimboards and Resilience

I will never forget the summer we bought skimboards!  Have you seen them?  Little ovals of wood that seem like they should be so easy to master.  You just toss them across the shallow surf, get a running start, and slide across the sand as easy as can be!  Right????  LOL NOT SO!  At least not for my apparently uncoordinated family.

Those skimboards got the best of us time and time again that summer!  So much so, that what began as an afternoon of fun at the beach ended with stomping, growling, and lots of family angst!  Just how many times can you land face down on the sand in front of a beach full of strangers?

Getting up again and again and again in the face of failure takes a special skill--RESILIENCE!  As a parent and teacher, I realize often just how important the art of resilience is--both in the classroom and in life.  I love this quote by Winston Churchill...
So how do we help our students and our children develop a resilient attitude?  How do we help them see the value in perseverance, diligence, and determination?  Here are just a few tips from me:

1) Remind children that failure is just a normal part of life.  It is not the end of the story; it is just part of the story! 
2) Remind children that repetitive trying is a key aspect of learning.  (Think learning to read, riding a bike, learning to walk...)
3) Provide an environment that allows for safe failures, encouraging hugs, and lots of constructive coaching!
4) Model a "don't quit, won't quit" attitude in your own life!
5) Seize teachable moments!  Some of these opportunities will will come at the bottom of a valley, and some will come at the top of a mountain...Learn to recognize these opportunities when they arise.
6) Expect excellence, not perfection!  One encourages children to do their best, while the other emphasizes shortcomings and leads to frustration.
7) Love them...unconditionally!  Teach them...continuously!  

  Thanks so much for the resilience you model to your little ones everyday!  "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!"  Blessings, Shannon

PS--And on a positive note...we discovered the following winter, skimboards make excellent sleds for the snow!

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