In this article in Kappa Delta Pi Record, California consultant/researcher Sara Truebridge addresses the central question about resilience: Why do some children who are exposed to high-risk environments successfully adapt while others do not? Truebridge challenges the notion that resilience is a trait that students either have or don’t have. All people have the capacity for resilience, she says, and there are three factors that tap and nurture that potential: (a) caring relationships, (b) high expectations, and (c) meaningful opportunities for participation and contribution. The three factors help develop children’s social competence, problem-solving ability, sense of self and internal locus of control, and sense of purpose and optimism about the future – all of which are key to dealing successfully with adversity.
“When these protective factors exist together in any one environment – home, school, community, or peer group – the climate in that environment becomes one that is optimal for nurturing the resilience of a child, youth, or any individual,” says Truebridge. “Applying these approaches does not cost extra money, but rather requires a focus on re-culturing schools in a unified vision to create, nurture, and sustain important protective factors that provide a positive influence and buffer students from adversity, threat, stress, and risk.” Having all three factors present in a school can compensate for their absence in the family, community, or peer group. And a school with these factors can be resilient as an organization in the face of challenges and traumatic events it may face.
What do the three key factors look like in schools? Truebridge lists these specific actions and characteristics:
• Caring relationships – This is all about providing a sense of connectedness and belonging, “being there,” showing compassion and trust. Teachers get to know the life context of each student and model empathy and compassion. Principals engage students, staff, and parents in school climate surveys and have an open-door policy that makes students comfortable dropping in if they need help or just want to talk. Superintendents make regular visits to schools and sponsor “dialogue nights” where adults and youth can talk together in an atmosphere of mutual trust and safety.
• High expectations – Teachers make appropriate expectations clear and recognize progress as well as performance. They also encourage mindfulness and self-awareness of moods, thinking, and actions. Principals orchestrate a curriculum that is challenging, comprehensive, thematic, experiential, and inclusive of multiple perspectives. They also provide training in resilience and youth development, and work to change deeply held adult beliefs about students’ capacities. Superintendents question how success is defined and ensure a commitment to being culturally responsive.
• Meaningful opportunities for participation and contribution – Teachers hold daily class meetings and empower students to create classroom norms and agreements. Principals establish peer-helping/tutoring and cross-age mentoring/tutoring programs and set up peer support networks to help new students and families acclimate to the school environment. Superintendents scour the neighborhood to identify pro-youth resources, services, and facilities, and hire a community liaison officer to enhance communication, cooperation, and understanding.
Have a Q-Tastic day!
Dr. Vincent Mays
Serra High School
|WEEK IN REVIEW|
Invisible Threat is an award-winning documentary created by Carlsbad students that focuses on understanding the science and the misperceptions of life-saving Immunizations.
Join us for a special screening of this highly-acclaimed film.
|WHEN ||Wednesday, February 24, 2016 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.|
|WHERE||Kumeyaay Elementary School Multipurpose Room|
6475 Antigua Blvd, 92124 (Tierrasanta)
|WHY ||A recently passed 2015 California law requires all children enrolled in public or private schools to be vaccinated effective July 1, 2016|
A Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego-affiliated pediatrician will be present to answer questions after the film.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
|8th Grade Expo|
Serra High School's class of 2020 experienced their first day in high school on Tuesday, January 12th, 2016. Serra ASB organized an "8th grade Expo" for future students from Farb and Deportola Middle School, welcoming them into the conquistador family.
Upon entrance to the gym, the middle schoolers were greeted with a human tunnel of cheerleaders, ASB members, and several clubs whilst the band and orchestra gave a live performance of ebullient music. This energetic first impression left students buzzing in the bleachers, eager for the pep-rally to start.
Not long after, the choir beautifully sang the national anthem and ROTC executed an impressive display of gunmanship. Next, emcees Asha Hill and Khalid Said introduced principal Dr. Mays, who gave an empowering speech and pumped up the audience with a comical dance competition. Afterwards, an award winning performance from orchestra and band was followed by the cheerleaders, who awed the crowd with skillful tumbling, jumps, and cheers.
After the pep-rally, the 8th graders were organized into groups and were given a personal tour of the school from current Serra students. Stopping inside classrooms, walking down hallways, and meeting teachers gave the middle schoolers a taste of this new chapter in their educational life.
Before and during lunch, students visited the Club and Athletic fair and were introduced to the impressive amounts of extracurricular activities that Serra High School offers. Tables lined Q-Court, each occupied by club members giving information to interested students. Inside the media center, sport captains looking to recruit future MVP's encouraged athletic activities.
After having been provided a meal with either pulled pork on rice or barbecue ribs and an hour of lunchtime socialization around various areas of the campus, Serra High School's class of 2020 made their trip back to Deportola or Farb, eager for the next school year.