Resiliency in School Settings

Ice Breaker
You’re marooned on a jungle island.
Everyone in the group – brainstorm all the
items you think you would need to survive
for a month or maybe longer.
Try to have each person list at least 3 items.
Ice Breaker
Okay, so now you can only take 3 items from
your total list.
Discuss what those three items should be
and why.
Then we’ll share your 3 items with the larger
Resiliency in School
Sandy Sites, Ed.S
Ed Morris, Ph.D
Jim Koller, Ph.D
APA Resilience Definition
 The process of adapting well in the face
of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or
even significant sources of stress – such
as family and relationship problems,
serious health problems, or work place
and financial stressors. It means
“bouncing back” from difficult
Defining Resilience for Yourself
 It’s not a set program
 It is a dynamic process, a
journey – not an event
 Our idea, our attitude,
of it determines how we
work with it
 It is individual and
At risk / deficits bias
At promise / strengths bias
It resides in the individual person
and in the environment
What Common Characteristics Emerge from the
Literature that Are Found in Resilient Youth?
 Social Competence
 Good-natured, friendly
 Accepting
 Sense of Control
 Proactive/Problem Solving
 Self-management
Promote these internal characteristics
Henderson & Milstein’s
Six Strategies for Promoting
1) Opportunities for meaningful participation.
2) Setting/communicating high expectations.
3) Caring and supportive relationships.
4) Promoting prosocial bonding.
5) Setting clear/consistent boundaries.
6) Teaching “life skills.”
Tips for Building Resilience
 Make connections
 Help others; encourage involvement
 Emphasize “good” over “mistakes”
 Set reasonable, realistic goals
 Move toward goals – take baby steps
 Maintain a sense of humor
Tips for Building Resilience
 Be hopeful, have faith and be positive
 Keep things in perspective
 Maintain a routine with breaks
 Eat well and exercise regularly
 Accept that change is a part of life
• Brown, J.H., D’Emidio-Caston, M., & Benard, B. (2001). Resilience Education.
Corwin Press, Inc.
• Davis, N.J. (1999). Resilience: Status of the Research and Research-Based
(working paper – 5/28/99). Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services
• Henderson, N. & Milstein, M. (1996). Resilience in Schools: Making It
Happen for Students and Educators. Corwin Press, Inc.
• Johnson & Johnson (1996). Teaching students to be peacemakers.
4(3), 10-19.
• Miller, J.B. & Stiver, I.P. (1997). The Healing Connection: How Women Form
Relationships in Therapy and in Life. Beacon Press.
This presentation acknowledges the Substance Abuse and Mental Health
Services Administration’s Center for Mental Health Services and Angela M.
Oddone (MSW) Mental Wellness Program Coordinator
© NEA Health Information Network 2002 and Illustrations © Mary Garner
Mitchell 2002.
Ground Rules
Safe & confidential environment
No mention of specific names
Be respectful, listen, allow
everyone the opportunity to
Identify a spokesperson
Discuss 3 stressors in your life:
work, home, personal.
How do you deal with it?
What do you think are 3
stressors your students face?
How do they deal with it?
What overlap to you see between
your students and you?

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