by Mayra Martinez
Our daily habits as educators form and shape us into who we present ourselves to be in the world. Our students are part of our world and therefore we affect our students behavior and resilience with our own habits and behaviors. This is why it is important for us as educators to have resilient habits that will promote growth and resilience not only in ourselves, but also for our students. According to Elena Aguilar in her book Onward, there are 12 habits that will strengthen an educator’s resilience.
12 habits of resilient teachers
1. Know Yourself
It is important to know ourselves, to know what we stand for, to be emotionally aware, and to know our values. Having a clear understanding of who we are helps us to be rooted in our center when there are strong winds passing through our lives. We want to know who we are and to set a daily intention of how we want to show up daily.
2. Understand Emotions
Accepting and understanding our emotions strengthens us because we know were we have influence, but we can also learn were to let go in certain situations that are beyond our control. We can build resilience by saying to ourselves, “What can go wrong today and how might I feel about it?” and then imagining how we want to react physically and emotionally. This way we can prepare emotionally for things throughout our day that might not go right. We want to have a positive outlook, but be as prepared as possible for things that might throw us off track.
3. Tell Empowering Stories
On a daily basis, practice positive self-talk that will inspire you. Read from a book that will inspire you, find and say positive affirmations, interpret your stories with a positive spin and give others the benefit of the doubt. You decide what stories you tell yourself, so why not make them positive stories that make you and others happy. Optimism is a key quality in resilient educators.
4. Build Community
Our locations at 5 Keys can sometimes have us feeling isolated, but it is important to reach out to teachers that can support and inspire us. Let’s create the habit of reaching out to one another even if it is to say “hello” through an email. This helps to build empathy and community in our organization. Having a healthy community can push us through when we have challenging moments.
5. Be Here Now
Being in the present moment, without judgment, brings clarity to who we want to be in the present moment. It also helps us to react with intention instead of being reactive to situations. We can handle situations calmly and possibly even with humor to defuse stressful situations. We can be present as our best selves even when things can get difficult.
6. Take Care of Yourself
Take care of your mind, spirit, and body because these ares the foundations to many other daily habits. Resilient educators have healthy self-perceptions and are committed to daily practices that will promote self-care. Some of these practices may include meditation, exercise, journaling, practicing gratitude, getting a message, or doing something that makes you happy and brings a smile to your face.
7. Focus on the Bright Spots
Focus on your strengths, skills, and abilities because this will build your confidence when coming across a challenging situation. As resilient educators, we want to increase our levels of self-efficacy and role model for our students how to have a growth mindset that focuses on our strengths while having the ability to take on challenging situations. We want to be able to find bright spots even in challenging situations.
8. Cultivate Compassion
We want to have the ability to take on different perspectives beyond our own. It is important to have compassion for ourselves and others. With compassion, we are able to see the different layers to a given situation and may respond to situations with various perspectives in mind.
9. Be a Learner
Practice curiosity, be inquisitive, stay open-minded to diverse possibilities and responses. This way if an obstacle comes our way, we are more likely to stay engaged in the process until a solution is reached.
10. Play and Create
Tap into your inner creative child and have fun. Reach into those playful areas in your mind were there are no limits and things can be accomplish a million and one ways. This activates our problem solving skills, resourcefulness, courage, and deepens our connection to self and others.
11. Ride the Waves of Change
Change is inevitable at 5 Keys and in our world. When we encounter these moments in our lives, it is important to focus our energies on the things that we can impact while staying hopeful. This is a time when we can elevate our perseverance, inhale our patience, and allow courage to guide us.
12. Celebrate and Appreciate
Create daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly celebration habits. Individual and collective celebrations builds trust and resilience in our abilities to see things through even when things get difficult. It also helps us to savor all those special moments in our lives and the lives of others. Have a bunch of yummy celebration moments in your life that bring you joy.
Resources: Aguilar, Elena. Onward. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2018. Print