Updated: Sep 14, 2021
Resilience is what helps us thrive regardless of the challenges life throws our way. While some of us might have been born more resilient than others, everyone can develop this skill and live a happier life.
The rates of anxiety and depression have increased, and young people find it difficult to cope with their everyday problems. These struggles are also negatively impacting their academic performance.
Therefore, helping our children develop resilience is a great gift to give them.
But how can we go about it in our classrooms?
While there are many things you can do to help children develop resilience, I want to share with you an easy and effective way you can apply in your classroom starting today.
Think about your students’ responses when they receive feedback on their work. What happens when one of their peers tells them – “I think you need to make this change to your work to make it better.”
Will they gladly accept this feedback? Will they be happy their peer is helping them get better?
Most likely, they won’t.
They will probably receive such feedback as a personal attack on them. They will interpret it as – oh, I did something wrong. I am not good enough. And this perception of feedback will negatively impact their self-esteem and confidence in their capabilities.
In the years I have been working with teachers in their classrooms, I saw how Glittering Minds program makes a significant difference on this front.
By adopting Glittering Minds new approach to problem-solving, which includes sharing your work and receiving feedback from peers, children quickly change their mindset regarding such feedback.
You can apply this approach in your classroom by following these steps-
Start by discussing feedback with your students.
Often, children (and adults too) see feedback as personal criticism, and therefore, for them, good feedback is only when someone tells them, “This is great!” But what can you learn from such feedback? How does it help you improve your creation? In truth, it doesn’t.
Getting feedback is all about learning what is working well, what is not working, and where you need to improve. It’s an opportunity to learn. Good feedback helps you grow.
Therefore, discuss with your students:
What is feedback?
Why do we need feedback?
What kind of feedback is useful and beneficial to us?
The point of such conversations is to help children understand that getting constructive feedback is a good thing, and it doesn’t reflect on them personally or on their capabilities and talents. Gaining this understanding will help your students thrive throughout their entire life.
Then, when they create a product – whether it is a model, a presentation, a poem, a drawing etc., provide your students with a feedback form that includes the below questions-
1. What did you like about it? (It’s important to start on a positive note.)
2. What would you change? (This is an opportunity to have a discussion and receive meaningful feedback.)
3. Do you have any questions? (Asking this question allows you to understand whether
something is not clear about the work you present.)
4. Do you have any suggestions for improvements? (This is another opportunity to get meaningful feedback. It might be that the previous questions and the time to digest and
reflect on the presented work helped trigger more ideas for improvement.)
Facilitate a walking gallery in your classroom, where students from another class walk around and provide feedback.
Each of your students will need to ask these four questions and write down the feedback they receive.
Once they have these responses, ask your students to improve their work based on their feedback.
By getting your students used to receiving feedback from others and improving their work, they will understand that feedback helps them get better. They will learn that it is not a criticism of them but a way to achieve better results.
After a while, they will start seeking such feedback.