Superintendent's April Message
John P. Collins, Ed.D.
Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines.
This is the “message of the month” for April on a calendar in my office. It’s a message that prompts me to think about resilience, especially in challenging times.
What is resilience and how do we, as adults, foster it in our students?
A recent article in the educational journal Edutopia – 8 Pathways to Every Student’s Success - describes resilience this way:
Resilience is the ability to meet and overcome challenges in ways that maintain or promote well-being. It incorporates attributes like grit, persistence, initiative, and determination.
We build resilience when we push students gently to the edges of their intellectual, emotional, social, and physical comfort zones. Our support and encouragement as they take risks, overcome challenges, and grow from failure helps them learn to bounce back from life's ups and downs.
Grit…persistence…determination. These are attributes that serve students – and all of us – well. A singlemindedness in pursuing a goal. In our case, it’s making sure all students are learning.
Push gently…support…encourage. These are the ways in which we can model and instill these attributes in our students.
This time of year can be both stressful and exciting for our students. Seniors are receiving college acceptance letters, and making big decisions about their futures. Other students are considering internships, studying abroad, or summer jobs. Competition is heating up for our sports, performing arts, and extracurricular teams. Others are feeling the academic pressure of year-end projects and exams. And to top it off, spring fever may start to set in, as the end of the school year nears.
I encourage you to take this opportunity to talk with your students. Help them put things into perspective. Remind them that they are loved. Encourage them to do their best. Support them with a “listening ear” if they want to talk about their experiences. And help them find balance and healthy ways to cope with their stress.
Show them that resilience can pay off in their lives, both now and in the future.
Keep up the good work,
John P. Collins, Superintendent