As written by Ella MA English Literature, Oxford University
In the wake of the global pandemic, I continue to have respect for the resilience and stamina shown by the children and teachers navigating the educational system. In my role as a tutor I have seen the effects of covid-19 impact confidence, motivation and trust in our young people. This has extended to their confidence in themselves and in the system to support them.
The realisation that there was a need for specialist support inspired me to undertake training in resilience with an accredited resilience foundation. I realised that students would need extra tools to navigate an educational system that has been impacted by corona in addition to fostering a growth mindset in such uncertain times.
Of particular interest to me is the way in which some students have managed to thrive in this environment, when others have felt overwhelmed. Aside from material factors there are considerations such as personality types, the way we learn and our thinking or experience of learning itself. As adults we recognise perhaps how we cycle in and out of more ‘supportive’ thinking in manifesting goals and less supportive ones. Often this thinking leads us to take actions which in turn create outcomes.
Making that crucial link between our thinking and how we handle our experience day in and day out helps students to ride out difficulties with less turbulence. I would like to offer this understanding to all my students. It is, I believe, crucial in allowing a student to succeed. It all begins with thought. How simple that is and how readily we forget it.
I find that in the course of teaching there are moments of connection which are crucial to the learning too. They build rapport, they calm the mind of the student and from this calmer space, with less extraneous thought, we find an ideal place from which to learn. I would like students to feel able to do this for themselves. Find that safe headspace, learning environment that feels quieter and closer to the idea of ‘flow’. I am lucky to tutor one on one as it facilitates this much more readily.
Over the past year students will often begin the class talking about shifts in exam schedules. In particular, I have noticed that the last minute shift in decision-making regarding exams created catastrophic thinking and stress and problem solving around this has been key to unlocking their potential, as it is with anyone, whatever their age or experience. As a resilience educator and mentor and accredited coach this past year in order to help young people who are anxious around the idea of learning, change and even success. I feel these tools should be available and widely taught.
If you suffer from stage fright before giving a talk, for example, you can add thinking to that. You can say, this means I will do badly, this means I shouldn’t go in front of people, this means I am a fraud. Or you can think this is exhilarating, this is exciting, I am inspired. Or you can think, this is simply a response in my body, now what is it that I need to talk about today? It is less about changing the nature of our experience and so much more to do with seeing the way that mindset shapes it.
I am always surprised that schools tend to not teach what I deem to be a crucial aspect of the success for our children, not only through our education system but also in life. My resilience training works with the individual to help them gain insight into the connection between our thoughts and experience and the ways in which without knowing the fundamentals of how our experience is shaped, we can use it to help us succeed and grow, without losing touch of ourselves in pursuit of those goals.
Do please reach out to me if you wish me to work with your child. The concepts are very simple and will furnish your child with a resilience toolkit as a lifelong gift.
This article was written by Ella, a tutor and course leader of Bespoke Tuition since 2018. Ella can be available for hourly tutorials, writing courses and resilience workshops upon request. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org to request her availability.