Building Resilience in students after COVID-19

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The importance of building resilience:

We teach our students that when faced with a challenge, it is how they respond to it that matters; "you have a choice - show us what you have learned". This is vital advice, especially in response to the events that occurred due to COVID-19.

Many teachers are expressing their concern as to how students have reacted to the pandemic - they appear to lack resilience and independence. They found the lack of structure and routine very difficult and this has affected their self-esteem and mindset.

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As teachers, we realise we must ask how we can change what we are doing in the education environment to equip them with the skills that they may need again in the future. Let's challenge our students, allow them to face adversity and situations that are a little different to the norm and allow them to take a risk.

But how can we do this? We know that our students learn best when they are doing. So create opportunities to allow students to be surprised, do things a little different and allow them to take charge. Most importantly, allow them to make mistakes.

Karen Corfield, our Education Travel Manager, formally Head of Geography, Pastoral Deputy and NQT mentor, refers to students as octopuses on their education journey. "They have lots of arms and legs where they should reach out and grab every opportunity offered to them. They should be on a zip wire - having fun, taking risks, smiling and laughing, yet that safety harness is always there, keeping them "safe" and popping them back on that zip wire if every now and again they fall."

She goes on to say that "Resilience is a life skill - a typical 13 year old has 180 days a year in school - schools provide the perfect environment to build resilience in our students. I have found throughout my teaching career that it is often discussed in the early years, but with the pressures of exams, results and general adolescent issues, older students will find that it is often left out of the classroom dialogue. Resilience does not always materialise organically for each student - we need to create situations, within a safe and comfortable environment that allow students to respond to challenge and setbacks."

When students have resilience, they are open to learning because they believe that they can learn; they are receptive to assistance because it is not a criticism of their abilities; and they are comfortable not understanding concepts immediately because they see learning as a pursuit of knowledge and know that motivation and effort are just as important as knowing how to do something. When students do not have these attitudes about learning, we must not only encourage them to be confident and "keep trying," but we should also teach them about resilience and perseverance. Ultimately let's provide our students with the tools to be successful in the real world, where the safety harness is taken off, yet they still take risks, have fun, smile, laugh and achieve.

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Best way to build resilience:

Travelling provides a host of opportunities for students, both educationally and pastorally. After spending the best part of the year spent in lockdown, a school trip will develop key life skills such as risk assessment, team work and leadership and help to cultivate positive mentality, self-esteem and self-confidence. Most importantly, it will help build that ever-so-important resilience.

Whether you choose to add a touch of adventure to your upcoming educational school trip or decide to create a tour specifically for pastoral reasons, Discover the World Education can help. We have designed trips, crafted itineraries and selected activities, with the soul goal of helping students to reach their full potential; testing their resilience and ultimately, putting a smile on their face. Whether your group is river tubing through the Alcantara River in Sicily, zip lining across the cloud forest in Costa Rica, kayaking through epic scenery in Norway or literally snorkelling between two continents in Iceland, we have a host of activities that are guaranteed to positively impact your students and leave them with memories, skills and a positive attitude to last a lifetime.

A spotlight on Norway:

We think that Norway is THE ultimate resilience building destination. Perhaps this comes from the country's heritage. The Vikings were often fictionalised as fierce warriors, but amongst the violent history, the rich culture of the Viking age can teach your students a lot about the importance of getting out of their comfort zone and improving their resilience.

This "go get ‘em" attitude has been passed down from the year 800AD, and is just as prominent in the Norwegian mindset today. On top of that, Norway was voted one of the happiest places in the world and its outdoorsy, adventurous culture is truly contagious.

The classic Norwegian saying "Ut på tur, aldri sur" perfectly sums up why Norway is so special. The saying means that that when you are travelling, especially in nature, you will never be unhappy.

Within our carefully crafted Norwegian pastoral and adventure itinerary, students will embrace the awe-inspiring surroundings with a series of exhilarating activities to encourage students to work as a team, enjoy the great outdoors and step outside of their comfort zones.

These activities include hiking, climbing, canoeing, orienteering and zip-wiring! As well as participating in fun activities students will learn a lot about the stunning nature that surrounds them including fjords, rivers, glaciers, mountains and waterfalls; ideal landscapes to roam free in, after so much time spent in lockdown. Students will also practise independence and self-sufficiency by assembling their own breakfast and lunch and being responsible for keeping their accommodation clean and tidy.

If you want to find out more about how a pastoral school trip has benefitted students check out Chris Ruddy from David Nieper's blog on his time in Norway.

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Pastoral trips in COVID-19?

We know that it is a daunting time for teachers at the moment and we appreciate at this time committing to a trip is not practical for a lot of schools. Therefore, we have a zero commitment offer which aims to help teachers get all the benefits of planning a school trip early, without the pressure of spending money on travel in these uncertain times.

Benefits of planning early include, making savings in cost and securing the best availability, cancelling, postponing or changing your numbers at any point and most importantly the pastoral benefits of getting students excited for their upcoming trip.

For more information on our plan now, commit later offer, or to check out our pastoral school trips please contact us using the form below.

If you are interested in hearing a bit more about how Discover the Wrold Education can help you with a school group tour then why not get in touch here.

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