How to Teach Resilience in the Classroom

Have you ever wondered how going through tough times often makes you even stronger? That is your resilience working and building. Resilience is your ability to bounce back from obstacles and how quickly you can do so. 

Resilience is an essential element of life because it is what keeps us afloat in this crazy world. Without the ability to be resilient and push through hard times, we would not be able to grow and experience life as efficiently. Resilience is a skill that is seen in all walks of life, no matter how old or how young you are.

Does building resilience in youth matter?

One youth speaking into a microphone in an auditorium full of children

YES! Childhood is the prime time to start building resilience in youth. When kids are young their brains are still malleable, therefore it is the perfect time to learn lessons that they will take with them the rest of their lives. The more malleable the brain, the easier it is to teach youth because their brains are ready to learn and take in new knowledge. 

Teaching these skills to youth sets them up for success as they grow up because they will have the tools necessary to look at life from a positive perspective, knowing they can make it past any obstacles. This will instill in them a sense of confidence and security as they take on life. 

Learning about resilience and how to practice it in the classroom benefits youth in huge ways. Teaching resilience at school allows for students to engage in these practices with their peers and learn from each other as well. The classroom is also a safe place to practice these skills and sets students up for academic success as they move forward in their academic careers. 

4 ways to teach youth resilience in the classroom

1.  Create Your Own Activities 

Resilience training for teachers may come off as overwhelming, but there are ample ways to build resilience in students. And don’t worry, there is no way you can mess up teaching resilience! No matter what the experience, your students will learn something.

Activities that teach resilience can range from outdoor games to individual written activities. Whether they are completed in a day or over the course of a semester, you can create activities that will show students the importance of pushing through tough obstacles and coming out on the other side.

2. Read Books Together

One of the best ways to learn lessons is through stories. Whether true or imaginary, reading is a great way to build literacy skills while learning valuable lessons. Reading books aloud to the class is a great way to prompt discussion as well about the book topics and how the characters practiced resilience.
See below for some awesome book suggestions for 11- 14 year olds that will provide great discussion on resilience while keeping your students engaged!

      1. Harry Potter- JK Rowling
      2. El Deafo- Cece Bell
      3. Hatchet- Gary Paulsen

3. Offer Extra Credit 

Offering extra credit in the classroom can give the students an opportunity to work extra hard for a reward. Whether they are doing extra credit in order to make up points from a missing assignment or getting extra points for cushion in the future, this will teach them how to work hard to succeed.

Through this experience in school, students will build their resilience by understanding the importance of working hard. Especially if the student is doing the extra credit in order to make up points, they will learn the importance of hard work after a loss. This is a great environment to learn this skill in because it is a safe place where there is room for error but when the extra credit is received, the student sets themselves up for success. 

4. Use Ready-Made Resilience Curriculum

There are some awesome options for pre-made curriculums to implement into your classroom to promote resilience in your students. 

No Barriers offers multiple programs specifically for building resilience in youth that teach them how to overcome obstacles while maintaining a positive outlook on life. The ignite program helps students develop the mindset to find their passion and push through any obstacles they face to get there. No Barriers climb program empowers students to be their best and live life to the fullest.

Youth sitting in an auditorium.

Building resilience in students is essential!

Starting the resilience building process at a young age sets up youth for success. When these skills can be practiced and mastered while they still have a safety net of their parents and loved ones at home, they will have a greater ability to maintain their resilience as they grow. 

Building resilience in youth provides them with the confidence and belief that they can do anything they put their mind to, no matter the setbacks they face. No Barriers aims to support youth around the world by providing students and teachers with resources to teach students about resilience and set them up for success. Check out our Classroom Resources to find out more about the programs we offer!


July 16, 2020
No Barriers

No Barriers

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