In these times of unrest, turmoil, and struggle, our brains might consider that the work we do as educators is too difficult, too exhausting, possibly unfulfilling, and/or that we simply can’t meet the needs and expectations of everyone who has an opinion about education. Well, rest assured that there is hope, there is a way, there is light that will brighten the next day, and there is you. You, the one with an unwavering passion to do what is best for the children you aim to serve. I know it, I believe it, and I want to foster that passion in you.
I simply ask that as you get up each morning, as you contemplate the next child you will encounter, be it your own, or the child of another, and that you #STRIVE to foster resilience in that child. “What does this mean?”, you might ask. Well, it’s a pretty simple acronym for approaching your work! #STRIVE “#Serve, #Teach, #Relate, #Inspire, #Value, and #Engage. Let me explain, just a bit more:
When we #STRIVE to foster resilience in this manner we take control of the things we can control. We focus our energies on improving ourselves, and allow our hope, our light, our energy to seize the day. We target and use strategies that will build resilience in children, and align our thinking with the needs that are presented for us. Simply #STRIVE and you will get and keep your groove. Simply #STRIVE and you will re-ignite the passion that for your work, which is your life, which is where your hope evolves. Simply #STRIVE and success will come to you.
#Serve: Focus on and commit to provide and deliver service to all stakeholders that are part of your community, especially students, their families, the community that they live in, and any and all collaborators that are part of your system of support. As we deliver this service to others quite frankly the gains in our hearts, our minds, and our souls are priceless to our existence.
#Teach: Teach what is needed by your children/students. Target Social Emotional Learning and compassion and understanding of others. Teach them to think critically, to use resources and technology, to stretch theirs, their friends, their group’s thinking. Teach them to communicate, to collaborate and be a colleague, and to accept differences of opinion and perspective.
#Relate: Connect to them through Relationships, Resilience, Responsibility, Resources, Relevance, Resolve, and allow your relationship with them to resonate to have meaning, to propel their desire to connect with others so that they can add meaning to their lives. When people connect by way of mind, thoughts, feelings, souls, and yes, even physically, the human experience becomes much more powerful and meaningful. By being people first, then student and teacher, parent and child, the relationship becomes all the more important to both parties.
#Inspire: We often diminish the impact we might have on people, yet, when asked to think of someone who inspired you, you more than likely would think of a teacher, a parent, yes, another human. So, consider how you might inspire each person you connect with to advance their skills, talents, for the benefit of themselves and their community. As an educator I suggest using innovative approaches to do it. Use thought-expanding, creative, inclusive lessons, and engagement strategies to connect with and expand upon student’s ideas, ingenuity, thoughts, interests, and motivation. you do have the power, you are human, and you can inspire others!
#Value: I think Michelle Obama said it best, “Value everyone’s contribution, and treat everyone with respect.” When you demonstrate and respond to the value that each person brings to our world with due respect for their differences and personal perspective you provide a safe place for them to grow. By valuing the differences that inherent in each person, and by accepting the unique offerings of each person, without judgement, you further demonstrate that you don’t measure someone’s worth by your values, and that you simply value them. By demonstrating that we value each person, we teach that valuing each person is an abundantly better strategy to our children than devaluing people.
#Engage: Take steps to understand the interest, motivation, needs and desires of the children that are in your world. Build your skills to inclusively connect to each person that should be part of your learning community, and bring them into the fold into order to demonstrate your passion and commitment to each person within your community! When we have one, ten, twenty, or more individuals engaged in thought, activity, creative efforts, whatever, not only do we build the skills of each, we provide opportunities for synergy to occur. Breakthroughs do not usually occur in a vacuum, they often occur when ideas are colliding, when exponential growth is allowed to exist, when energies are high, and risks are occurring in a safe zone. Be engaging!
Commit to #STRIVE
My dear colleagues, as I conclude this blog post I ask that you #STRIVE to foster resilience. I ask that you commit to yourself and your development as much as you commit to your children/students. I ask that you #Serve, #Teach, #Relate, #Inspire, #Value, and #Engage the children/students in your life, because you and they are more than worth it!
Dr. Robert A. Martinez, “Dr. Rob” is known far and wide as @ResiliencyGuy on #Twitter and #Periscope. He is the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources for the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District, and has focused on #Resilience development for a number of years. He seeks to build an understanding of #TransformationalResilience and how each educator and parent has an important role to fill in the development of children.
You can follow him on linked in as “Robert Martinez, Ed.D.” on twitter as @ResiliencyGuy on Facebook as @ResiliencyGuy and on his blog resiliencyguy.wordpress.com