Also posted at What Ed Said.
Jay McTighe struggled to learn to surf in his 50’s and almost gave up. He talks about the experience in this clip and reminds us that it’s important for teachers to remember how frustrating it can be trying to learn something new. He says we need to model persistence and how to work to improve performance based on feedback.
I think building resilience is important too. I read Kevin Washburn’s post on the environment of achievement and it got me thinking about the factors that foster resilience in the classroom…
1. Create a secure learning environment.
Make sure students feel safe to take risks. Encourage them to have a go. Never allow put-downs.
2. Don’t provide the answers.
Encourage kids to find out for themselves. Provide opportunities for exploration and experimentation. Develop a culture of thinking where everyone’s opinion is valued.
3. Give meaningful feedback, rather than grades.
Make sure your feedback is constructive and meaningful, so learners know what direction to go next. It’s not about a grade. It’s about learning.
4. Build a community in your classroom.
Ensure everyone is part of the learning community. Be part of it yourself. Arrange groups in a variety of ways, so that everyone is included. Make sure they know how to work with everyone.
5. Model persistence.
Talk about yourself as a learner. Share your own failures and what you learn from them. Admit what you don’t know. Find out together.
6. Display a positive attitude.
Focus on what is possible, not what’s not. Encourage learners to be positive. Focus on what they can do, not what they can’t.
7. Model flexibility.
There isn’t only one way to do things. There isn’t only one right answer. There isn’t only one path.
8. Let them fight their own battles.
Listen to all sides of the story. Help them develop empathy. But don’t solve their problems for them.
Everyone can learn. Ensure learners have options that cater for differing abilities, learning styles, preferences and interests.
10. Don’t make all the decisions.
Allow student choice. Talk about potential obstacles and brainstorm possible solutions. Then let them do it their way…