I recently attended the Bi-annual Australian Lutheran Principals’ conference. This year, we had the privilege of listening to a talk on Resilience.
The facilitator defined resilience as a learned ability to build courage, creativity, connection and bounce. With courage, we can be enthused by challenge and change. Through creativity, we develop talent and opportunity. By connection, we respect and care for others and nature. Through bounce, we build toughness and the ability to recover from adversity. Every one of us needs to learn and develop resilience in order that we fully experience the earthly life God has given us.
Trinity is currently refining our whole college approach to developing socio-emotional capacity in our students, and central to it is the building of resilience in our young people. For us to model and teach this learned ability – resilience, the adults (parents and teachers) in the lives of our young people need to have and model the resilience skills.
Harvard Business Review (May 2002) stated that “more than education, more than experience and more than training, it is a person’s level of resilience that determines who succeeds and who fails”. This is very true in that each of us is blessed with wonderful gifts and talents at birth and we are then fortunate to be educated and trained; however, without developing and growing resilience in ourselves, these talents, gifts, education and training become meaningless because we would lack the courage, connection, creativity and bounce to weather life's storms, to build strong and meaningful relationships and support networks, to fully expand and explore our talents and to face each day accepting that there will be both good and tough ones ahead of us.
In developing resilience, we need to ensure that our bodies and minds are functioning at optimal levels. Exercise, nutrition and sleep are critical in ensuring that we have both the physical and mental health needed to tackle stress in life. Managing our emotions with increased competency - from recognising negative impulsive responses and displaying regret for impulsive behaviour to restraining those impulsive responses and maintaining an inner calm in the face of adversity, will help us control impulsive behaviour and allow us to make wise decisions during the challenging episodes in our lives.
I urge parents to work together with the teachers and staff at the college to develop resilience in our students. It is a learned ability that will stand them in good stead for their continued success in life.
Mrs Tsae Wong