During a recent ‘OFSTED’ session where an Inspector came in to deliver an mid-week twilight training session, it was said that one judgement is of the  ‘resiliency’ of our students. That is, whether they give up when presented with difficulties.

I am rated highly. The way I teach, and plan, and mark has been said to be exemplary. However, I wonder quite how far I can affect how resilient my students will be.

Certainly, I should be more aware of making my students resilient. Inherently, though, any learning is inherently fraught with the risks of inadequacy and (self) humiliation. Even in the most nefarious of innercity schools (where some students deliberately don’t aspire or even attempt the work) no one wants to appear ignorant.

For me, the desire to discuss and think out-loud is the greatest act of resilience I think I can affect in my students. The ability to keep on wanting to answer and think requires a resilience that I do not think many people (and perhaps many teachers) have naturally. As I say to many parents, being curious is one of the greatest indications of future success for a student: failure and intellectual weakness lead to a person shutting down.

Of course, the ability to complete homework and to organise revision requires a more coherent link-up between the aspiration and home-support behind the student. No person wants to work in their own time unless they feel it leads to something: why would a student believe a teacher over their lived experience and the guidance of their parents?