Being the “other adult”

Studies report that for children to become resilient to adversity in their lives, they need just one caring and committed adult to be their support system. A parent, caregiver or “other adult”.

Teachers have the opportunity to be that “other adult”.

Supportive adults help young ones to discover that protective factors can be taught, learned and practiced.

That skills such as self-regulation act as a natural counter-weight to adverse childhood experiences.

The role of the teacher could be to model mindfulness and calming rituals, demonstrating how to appropriately respond to frustration, rejection and disappointments.

A high level of self-efficacy can also act as a resilience-builder. Self-efficacy refers to your belief that you are in control and that you can succeed. In other words, that you can have an effect on the world around you. Teachers can build student self-efficacy by scaffolding and engineering experiences of success.

Having hope and faith acts as another protective factor. Teachers can assess student hope levels and then push kids up the scale by helping them to set goals as well as design pathways to achieve these goals.

Strategies for stress-regulation, incorporating small amounts of positive stress, can also be facilitated. Things like regular physical exercise, and brain breaks such as healthy munch ‘n’ crunch.

Teachers can role play coping with small setbacks and how to adapt to change.

And we can speak out about parenting strategies that may cause trauma.

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