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How can you help your students improve their resilience?

“Fall down seven times, stand up eight.”

What motivates our students to succeed after failure?

Whilst some students seemingly have this motivation in their nature, the key to a drive for success is resilience. Resilience is the ability to “bounce back” from life’s challenges. Students with strong levels of resilience are able to adapt to stressful situations and still remain positive. To be resilient is to be able to persevere through setbacks and take risks to achieve a goal.

For some, resilience needs to be learned, and for others it is already there. Here are seven steps to bring the resilience inside of your students to life:


Step 1: Find meaning in the tough lessons

  • It is important for your students to see the value in tough lessons. Every challenge we face in life provides us with a lesson to improve our performance, whether in or out of the classroom.

  • Activity idea: encourage your students to think about a time where they've found something difficult but kept trying. What positive lessons have they can learnt from finding something tough initially?

Step 2: Accept change as a natural progression of life

  • Life is constantly changing, whether we want it to or not. A key to building up a student's resilience is making them aware of this. Highlight the sweet moments, while also being aware it will not last forever, and continue marching on!

  • Activity idea: get your students to think of three positive changes that have happened in their lives over the last year.

Step 3: Build a support network

  • Support networks are crucial for students who are looking to build resilience. Not every hardship we encounter should be conquered alone, it is important for students to be in a safe environment with individuals they trust. Encourage your students to ask for help when they need it, and return the support when necessary.

  • Activity idea: watch this video and get your students to think about who they would talk to if they were feeling like Sasha or Andre.

Step 4: Say thank you

  • It's so important to find opportunities to be thankful for, even when you're having a bad day.

  • Activity idea: get all the students in your class to write a list of things they are thankful for that week.

Step 5: Have a self-care ritual

  • Life can get hectic and school can be extremely stressful, so it's important to take care of our wellbeing.

  • Activity idea: take a 'mindful minute', get all of your students to silently focus on their breathing. Practising deep breathing once a day in the classroom can help students refocus while also reducing stress.

Step 6: Establish goals

  • It is important for students to be able to think of a goal and be motivated to achieve it by a certain deadline. Resilience can be improved by taking a step back to asses the situation, brainstorm steps and goals to improve your situation, and then break them down into manageable steps.

  • Activity idea: get everyone in your class to think of a long term goal, and in pairs think about the steps they would need to take in order to achieve this. What can they get started on straight away?

Step 7: Take Action

  • While the solution may not always be fast and simple, understanding the process and being able to address the issue will help alleviate stress. Taking action will allow students to feel more in control of their life and any stressful situations that may be thrown their way.

  • Activity idea: practice problem solving in the classroom, focusing on solutions that will make a range of problems easier.


As humans, we will face a wide range of challenges in our lifetime. It is unlikely to find someone who will live their whole life without experiencing one hardship. This is why it is important to build resilience to help us on the journey through life.

As educators of young people, it is crucial for us to equip our students with Confidence, Communication, Self Awareness, and Resilience. Resilience allows students to put themselves outside of their comfort zone and face challenges head on! Resilience is one of the four key Talents we focus on through our Finding Futures and Rising Futures programmes.

To find out more about our programmes, please contact Sophie, our Impact Manager:, 07908 687779.

“Invest time and energy into building your resilience and you will notice that your living your life, rather than letting life happen to you.”

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