Before the start of any new school year, my school’s Principal sits us all down to welcome us back from the summer break. He sets the tone for what we will focus on improving in the coming school year. The theme this year? “Resilience” defined as the ability to bounce back from a problem or issue that is out of your control. Recognizing that the ONLY thing that you can control is yourself is the first point of recognition and the start to resilience activation. Focus on the problem first, not the solution yet.
A recommendation shared with me was the book titled, “Onward” by Elena Aguilar and so I picked up the audiobook. According to Audible, “Onward tackles the problem of educator stress and provides a practical framework for taking the burnout out of teaching. Stress is part of the job, but when 70 percent of teachers quit within their first five years because the stress is making them physically and mentally ill, things have gone too far. Unsurprisingly, these effects are highest in difficult-to-fill positions such as math, science, and foreign languages, and in urban areas and secondary classrooms – places where we need our teachers to be especially motivated and engaged. This book offers a path to resiliency to help teachers weather the storms and bounce back – and work toward banishing the rain for good. This actionable framework gives you concrete steps toward rediscovering yourself, your energy, and your passion for teaching. You’ll learn how a simple shift in mindset can affect your outlook, and how taking care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally is one of the most important things you can do. Adopt a mindful, story-telling approach to communication and community building. Keep learning, playing, and creating to create an environment of collective celebration. By cultivating resilience in schools, we help ensure that we are working in, teaching in, and leading organizations where every child thrives, and where the potential of every child is recognized and nurtured. Onward provides a step-by-step plan for reigniting that spark.” Now, although this book is more teacher-focused and driven, there is something for any parent here to learn from this book, in my opinion. After all, isn’t a parent also a teacher but with a much smaller class size?