A school counsellor with whom I once worked used to run a workshop with Year 6 pupils preparing for their big step into Year 7. She asked the children to imagine a backpack on their shoulders, not like George Clooney’s Up in the Air version which you just want to shake off, but with all the essentials you’d really, really want to take with you as you enter a transitional stage from one school to another, from one school section to another, from one year group to another.
Children tended to suggest stationery, a dictionary, a calculator, maybe a protractor or a lab coat as essentials. She suggested that there were other, more abstract, supplies to consider; all the strength and skills they’d built up over their lives to date.
As parents and teachers we hope that our children have resilience in spades. Resilience
* - defined as: being able to learn from your experiences and grow; having positive relationships with others; the capability to manage your own emotions and experience/express empathy for others; having proficient communication skills; having solid problem solving skills; being able to set realistic and rewarding goals and working towards them - is desirable, whether you have it within or whether you help yourselves to it through the support of others. But it’s ok - and important for staff and parents to remember as much - to have ’brittle
’ days too.
Something stands out for me among those criteria.