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Resiliency in Gifted Students. Support, Load Balance, and Optimism. Strategic Plan Goal.

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resiliency in gifted students

Resiliency in Gifted Students

Support, Load Balance, and Optimism

Office of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development

Virginia Beach City Public Schools

strategic plan goal
Strategic Plan Goal
  • 1)  All teachers will engage every student in meaningful, authentic and rigorous work through the use of innovative instructional practices and supportive technologies that will motivate students to be self-directed and inquisitive learners.

Office of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development

Virginia Beach City Public Schools

strategic plan outcomes
Strategic Plan Outcomes
  • Our primary focus is on teaching and assessing those skills our students need to thrive as 21st century learners, workers and citizens. All VBCPS students will be:
    • Academically proficient;
    • Effective communicators and collaborators;
    • Globally aware, independent, responsible learners and citizens; and
    • Critical and creative thinkers, innovators and problem solvers.

Office of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development

Virginia Beach City Public Schools

theoretical impetus of resiliency research
Theoretical Impetus of Resiliency Research
  • Instead of studying students from high-risk communities who fail, discover what is distinctive about students from the same communities who succeed.

Office of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development

Virginia Beach City Public Schools

organizing framework for session
Organizing Framework for Session

Two Main Constructs

  • Supportive relationships provide sustenance to the development of resiliency
  • Certain personal skills support resiliency and these skills can be taught

Office of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development Virginia Beach City Public Schools

organizing framework for session1
Organizing Question 1:

How can you help your school become more effective at promoting resiliency?

Organizing Question 2:

How would you set-up and run an internet focus group?

Organizing Framework for Session

Office of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development Virginia Beach City Public Schools

focus points for notes
Focus Points for Notes
  • Focus one—When, where and how can adults support resiliency
  • Focus two—When, where and how can we provide opportunities for students to support each other

Office of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development Virginia Beach City Public Schools

home lives
Home Lives
  • Structured home
  • Firm consistent rules and discipline
  • Parental monitoring of homework and behavior
  • Less crowded, cluttered, and cleaner homes

Office of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development Virginia Beach City Public Schools

characteristics of resilient students
Characteristics of Resilient Students
  • Positive outlook
  • Good sense of humor
  • Commitment to conventional institutions
  • Have a sense of purpose
  • Internal locus of control

Office of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development Virginia Beach City Public Schools

adult relationships
Adult Relationships
  • Attached to at least one significant adult
  • Has positive interactions and involvement with committed, concerned educators and other adults
  • Adult provides social support
  • Adult has confidence in their capabilities
  • There are role models worthy of respect and admiration

Office of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development Virginia Beach City Public Schools

social characteristics
Social Characteristics
  • Social support from peers
  • Peer acceptance
  • Positive personal relationships
  • Separate achievement from social status
  • Minorities see themselves as overcoming stereotypes and stigmas
  • Actively engaged in community in meaningful way

Office of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development Virginia Beach City Public Schools

personal competencies
Personal Competencies
  • Optimism
  • Perseverance
  • Responsibility/Internal locus of control
  • Independence/Autonomy
  • Social competence
  • Self-efficacy
  • Problem-solving skills

Office of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development Virginia Beach City Public Schools

self efficacy
Self-Efficacy
  • Students need to believe they have the skills to be successful
  • Students believe they can accomplish the task if they put in the work and apply their skills
  • Students are recognized for their skill development and effort—NOT for being “smart”

Office of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development Virginia Beach City Public Schools

internal locus of control
Internal Locus of Control
  • Students believe that they are in control of whether or not they are successful
  • Do not blame others, chance, fate, tools, teachers, parents, or other exterior factors
  • Assess what they can do differently to change future outcomes

Office of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development Virginia Beach City Public Schools

personal behaviors
Personal Behaviors
  • Spend less time watching TV, using prescription drugs, playing video games
  • Talk to parents or siblings about what bothers them
  • Go along with parent requests

Office of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development Virginia Beach City Public Schools

lack of resilience
Lack of Resilience
  • Sense of helplessness
  • Sense of being stuck
  • Fall prey to negative influences more easily
  • Behavior, academic, and emotional failure
  • Least engaged in humor, problem solving, remaining optimistic, and making their own decisions.

Office of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development Virginia Beach City Public Schools

student skills
Student Skills
  • Managing Stress
  • Promoting Optimism
  • Managing Competitiveness

Office of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development Virginia Beach City Public Schools

stress
Stress

The body’s general response to any intense physical, emotional, or mental demand placed on it by oneself or others (Kaplan, 2005)

Eustress (Positive Stress)

  • Motivates and focuses energy
  • Helps achieve goals and reach potential

Distress (Negative Stress)

  • Feels unpleasant
  • Can lead to anxiety
  • Can decrease performance
  • Can lead to physical or emotional problems

Office of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development Virginia Beach City Public Schools

stress in gifted children
Stress in gifted children
  • Busy schedules
  • Feeling “different”
  • High expectations (from self or others)
  • Perfectionism
  • Competitiveness
  • Underachievement
  • Lack of challenge
  • Other examples???

Office of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development Virginia Beach City Public Schools

stress them just enough
Stress Them Just Enough
  • Load Balance—The link between environmental demands and capabilities of student
  • In order for students to grow intellectually, they should complete tasks within their “Zone of Proximal Development” (Vygotsky, 1978).
    • A point of required mastery where a child cannot successfully function alone, but can succeed with scaffolding or support

Office of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development Virginia Beach City Public Schools

what can teachers do
What can teachers do?
  • Provide information on coping strategies
  • Model how to deal with stress
  • Encourage children to express her/his feelings appropriately
  • Listen
  • Validate/acknowledge child’s feelings
  • Be available for guidance
  • Model acceptance and encouragement
  • Help each child be a “whole person”
  • Be patient
  • Work with parents and student on load management

Office of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development Virginia Beach City Public Schools

coping strategies for stress management
Coping Strategies for Stress Management
  • Regular exercise
  • Healthy nutrition
  • Adequate rest
  • Take time out for enjoyable activities
  • Learn skills that make tasks easier / more successful
  • Be a problem-solver
  • Shifting perspective
  • Be optimistic…

Office of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development Virginia Beach City Public Schools

discontinuity of resiliency
Discontinuity of Resiliency
  • Students level of resiliency can vary over time and across situations
    • Situational changes
    • Social changes
    • Developmental changes
    • Dabroski-Positive disintegration

Office of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development Virginia Beach City Public Schools

positive disintegration process
Positive Disintegration Process
  • The individual becomes active agent in own disintegration-thus the person finds a 'cure' for himself,
    • not in the sense of a rehabilitation
    • in the sense of reaching a higher level than the one prior to disintegration.
  • Occurs through a process of an education of oneself and of an inner psychic transformation.
  • Main mechanisms of this process:
    • A continual sense of looking into oneself as if from outside
    • Followed by a conscious affirmation or negation of conditions and values in both the internal and external environments
  • (Dabrowski, 1972, p. 4).

Office of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development Virginia Beach City Public Schools

personality reintegration
Personality Reintegration
  • Through the constant creation of himself
  • + the development of the inner psychic milieu
  • + development of discriminating power with respect to both the inner and outer milieus
  • an individual goes through ever higher levels of 'neuroses' and at the same time through ever higher levels of universal development of personality"

Office of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development Virginia Beach City Public Schools

optimism a tool to manage and prevent stress
Optimism: A tool to manage and prevent stress
  • What is optimism?
  • Thoughts???
  • The Optimistic Child: A Proven Program to Safeguard Children Against Depression and Build Lifelong Resilience – authoredby Dr. Martin Seligman(1995)

Office of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development Virginia Beach City Public Schools

optimism
Optimism is NOT

Just hoping that everything will be okay

Ignoring reality

Just telling yourself positive thoughts

Wishful thinking

Optimism Involves

Flexible and reality-based thought process

Optimistic explanatory style

Telling yourself something that is equally true, but nicer

Opposite of pessimism

Opposite of catastrophizing

Optimism …

Office of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development Virginia Beach City Public Schools

teaching optimism
Teaching Optimism
  • Apply concepts to your own life
  • Model and teach concepts to children

Skills to learn for optimism:

  • Catch automatic thoughts
  • Evaluate thoughts
  • Generate alternatives
  • De-catastrophize

Office of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development Virginia Beach City Public Schools

explanatory style
Pessimistic Explanatory Style

Permanent

Pervasive

Personal

“Things at school never go right for me.”

“No one is ever going to hire me.”

“I must be an unlovable person.”

Optimistic Explanatory Style

Temporary

Specific

Impersonal

“Things at school are bad right now.”

“This particular person didn’t hire me.”

“My friend is probably busy or forgot to call me back.”

Explanatory Style

Office of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development Virginia Beach City Public Schools

practice
Practice

1. Jamie got a C in the first nine weeks in math. You approach him and he tells you the following: “I’ve really screwed up. My parents wanted me to be on the principal’s list all year. Now, I can’t do that. They’re going to be so disappointed. I wish I could quit school. I’ve already failed for the year. Why should I even try any more?”

How can you help Jamie de-catastrophize?

2. Let’s look at some examples from your experience or from your list of automatic thoughts.

Office of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development Virginia Beach City Public Schools

what is competitiveness
What is competitiveness?
  • Contest
  • Opposition
  • Process of trying to beat others
  • Rivalry

Office of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development Virginia Beach City Public Schools

emerging reaction patterns to competition
Emerging Reaction Patterns to Competition

Negative Positive

  • The honest competitor
  • The ambivalent competitor
  • The personal best

Office of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development Virginia Beach City Public Schools

benefits of competition
Benefits of Competition
  • Teaches students they may struggle or fail at first but achieve their goal eventually
  • Helps students persevere when faced with obstacles
  • Increases their resilience, or ability to recover from setbacks
  • Helps students learn to win with grace and humility
  • Prepares students for future competition as they enter their careers
  • Inspires students to strive for excellence

Office of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development Virginia Beach City Public Schools

can competition be hurtful
Can competition be hurtful?
  • Sometimes, if taken to extremes.

Things to take into consideration:

  • Delay exposure of competition to young children, especially if they are very sensitive
  • Address competition when it arises

Office of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development Virginia Beach City Public Schools

strategies to help your child deal with competitiveness
Strategies to help your child deal with competitiveness
  • Talk to students about competition
  • Practice appropriate behaviors
  • Praise effort rather than performance
  • Read optimistic stories with resilient characters
  • Brainstorm ways to help children cope when they encounter upsetting situations

Office of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development Virginia Beach City Public Schools

strategies to help your child deal with competitiveness continued
Strategies to help your child deal with competitiveness (continued)
  • Use competition as less of a motivator and more for a tool of personal improvement
  • Help children to manage stressful situations
  • Help children to build supportive social networks

Office of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development Virginia Beach City Public Schools

thanks to
Thanks To
  • Kristina Groce, M.A.; Amanda Slonaker, M.A.; Mary Skokut, M.Ed. for their presentation Promoting Resiliency by Managing Stress, Competitiveness, and Perfectionism, March 31, 2009

Office of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development Virginia Beach City Public Schools

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