Students can only know how to use skills, strategies and ways to meet challenges and tasks through exposure. To this end teachers must model and incorporate Habits of Mind into classroom learning while parents can do the same at home. Here are some suggestions on how to develop resilience:
1. Get students into the habit of thinking critically, whether it is thinking critically about the news, current affairs, music, food, social issues or even a game. This is a powerful tool for children to build their brain muscles.
2. Encourage children to debate everything since it helps them look at alternate explanations and develops their natural communication skills.
3. Provide access to diverse, quality reading materials and then encourage, remind and give students time to read them and discuss the reading. Ask them to make claims based on the reading and to then support those claims with evidence.
4. Help children learn from everything they are exposed to. This allows them to see that learning is a mindset. They don’t have to only learn from ‘school’ or books, but from their world around them, nature, conversations, games and observation.
5. Understanding that critical thinking is a mindset rather than merely a ‘skill’ can help it become a habit. Make critical thinking a game to get them to consider alternative views. Challenge them with scenarios and situations as this is a way to make critical thinking become a habit.
6. Teaching persistence with brainteasers allows safe and friendly opportunities for building resilience. Challenging brain teasers at school and at home, offer students the opportunity to fail and then recover in a safe environment.
7. When students receive a poor score on a test, project, or pre-assessment, teachers and parents can guide them to develop their capacity to recover. This is teaching them to practice metacognition—being aware of their thoughts, feelings, and actions, and the strategies they can use in a given situation.
8. Parents and teachers should always give a compliment to children when they take a responsible risk in class or at home. Volunteering, offering to lead an activity or a household task are opportunities to build confidence, optimism, and risk-taking, and most importantly, to keep a resilient momentum in their lives.