How Can Teachers Encourage Resilient Learners?

Written by Dan

In today’s educational landscape, there is an increasing focus on developing resilient learners. But what does it mean to be a resilient learner, and how can teachers encourage this type of learning in their students? Being resilient means having the ability to bounce back from setbacks and challenges. It’s a skill that can be developed and strengthened over time and is essential for success. So how can teachers help their students build resilience? Here are some ideas. …

What is resilience?

Resilience is an essential quality in life because it allows us to experience and learn from failure, bounce back from difficult situations, and even create positive change in the face of adversity.

Resilience is about looking for an opportunity when faced with challenges; it’s about breaking through barriers, finding new solutions and persevering regardless of how hard things seem.

It’s a remarkable ability that often separates successful people from those who struggle or give up. Resilience helps us keep our morale high despite any obstacles or difficulties.

Furthermore, resilience benefits physical and mental well-being by improving our ability to handle stress through enhanced communication skills, problem-solving abilities and more effective coping strategies. All these skills lead to greater happiness and inner peace, which are essential for a good life.

Resilient Student

Despite the numerous challenges many students face, it continually amazes me to see how resilient and determined young people can overcome personal hardships. There are countless stories of students who have shown great strength in overcoming significant obstacles such as poverty, family instability, health issues, or even natural disasters.

For example, I had a student who was the first in her family to learn English, despite consistently having to move around for work.

Despite the language barrier, she persevered with grit and determination until she graduated high school with honours! Evidence like this reminds us what is possible if we do not give up despite the overwhelming odds.

How To Build Resilience In The Classroom

Building resilience in the classroom is key to helping students become successful, self-reliant learners. As a teacher, you can do several things to promote resilience in your students.

To begin with, strive to maintain an emotionally positive environment within the classroom by demonstrating kindness and empathy.

Set realistic expectations for the students, encourage them to challenge themselves, and celebrate successes and failures. Practice encouraging problem-solving techniques instead of punishing for mistakes and guide students towards creative solutions when issues arise.

Model acceptance within the classroom to foster secure attachment from students and use positive reinforcement rather than punishment when dealing with behaviour problems or poor academic results.

With these tips for building resilience, teachers can create a secure, thriving learning environment for their students that will help develop skills necessary for school and life beyond it.

Challenges and Setbacks Are Good!

Open dialogue about challenges and setbacks is integral to developing resilience, as this helps create a support system that encourages individuals to persevere through difficult times. It is essential to build a strong peer network to discuss the fears, doubts, and anxieties that can arise during challenging times.

When someone cancan openly talk about their experiences without fear of judgement or criticism, they can better understand what must be done to stay positive and motivated.

In addition, these conversations will help people understand each other better and allow them to gain insight into new perspectives and find solutions by working together.

An open dialogue should be encouraged in all settings to strengthen existing relationships and form meaningful connections.

Help Students Develop A “Growth Mindset

A growth mindset is essential to successful learning. It consists of the belief that intelligence and ability are not fixed but can be developed through hard work and perseverance. With a growth mindset , students will be equipped to face setbacks with resilience and better prepared to capitalize on new opportunities.

Teaching outside the traditional classroom and engaging in project-based learning activities helps students develop a growth mindset because they will have to adapt their thinking and use problem-solving skills to complete tasks.

Integrating constructive feedback into the learning process promotes self-reflection, lowers student anxiety about mistakes, encourages collaboration, and allows students to become more innovative thinkers.

With the proper support, guidance, and encouragement, all students can cultivate their growth mindsets to take on any challenge that comes their way.

Positive Self-Talk

Fostering resilience can be challenging; however, one of the most effective ways to do so is by practising positive self-talk and living a healthy lifestyle. Getting caught up in negative thoughts and destructive habits is easy, but keeping our mental health in check is essential.

We can develop more malleable attitudes when facing difficult circumstances by monitoring our internal dialogue and staying focused on healthy eating and exercise programs.

Additionally, taking time for ourselves allows us to give ourselves the breathing room needed to process any adversity life throws at us from an empowered place.

Promoting positive self-talk and a healthy lifestyle are simple strategies that can create long-lasting effects in our lives.

As a teacher, you play a vital role in helping your students build resilience. By taking the time to get to know your students, sharing stories of resilient individuals who have overcome adversity, and promoting positive self-talk and healthy living habits, you can help your students develop the skills they need to persevere through challenges and setbacks.

Keep the conversation about resilience going in your classroom by encouraging open dialogue about difficulties and setbacks, and remind your students that hardships are an opportunity for growth. With your support, your students will be better equipped to handle whatever life throws their way.


Q: What are the benefits of developing resilience?

A: Developing resilience helps to create a support system that encourages individuals to persevere through difficult times. It helps build a strong peer network, promotes self-reflection, lowers student anxiety about mistakes, and encourages collaboration.

Additionally, it can help students develop a “growth mindset”, which can help them better adapt to challenges and capitalize on new opportunities.

Q: How is resilience different from determination?

A: Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity, while determination has a strong desire to succeed or reach your goals. While both qualities are essential, resilience helps individuals take on challenges with a more open mind and encourages them to learn from mistakes instead of being discouraged by them.

Determination also helps individuals stay focused and motivated throughout the process, but it does not allow them to overcome obstacles more adaptively.

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.






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