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Resilient Children – Our Head Teacher is interviewed on TVNZ Breakfast 26 January 2017

Why is resilience important in kindergarten?
Developing resilience in children under 5 years of age is integral to the work we do at Uplands Kindergarten. The teaching team is inspired by the work of Guy Claxton, Carol Dweck and Ken Robinson and the language we use at Uplands builds the skills necessary to develop this life skill.

Children need to hear and believe their abilities are not preset or fixed, that they can work their brain (like they would their body if in the gym) and expand their learning capacity. In a kind, enthusiastic and celebratory tone, these are some of the things you will hear at Uplands and things to try at home:
“I can see you are thinking”
“I can see you are concentrating”
“That was tricky!”
“I could see you trying”
“I wonder who we could ask to find out?”
“You’re a learning detective!”
“What a great idea”
“Try again, give it another go”
“Isn’t it fun when it’s tricky?”
“We are all learners, can you teach me?”
“Remember when you couldn’t do….You practiced and now you can! With more practice you will be able to do this too”
“What do you need to do that?”
“How did you solve the problem?”
“Those are interesting questions – let’s find out”

Sometimes learning something new is hard. Describing to children feelings of apprehension, frustration, confusion, worrying about making a mistake, gives them words to describe their feelings. Making a mistake is not the worst thing that can happen at Uplands Kindergarten. Take a chance and don’t be frightened of being wrong.
“What would make this easier for you?”
“How did you do it last time?”
“What else did you try?”
“Learning something new is tricky”
‘Yet’ is a word we always use. When children say “I’m not good at that yet”, we know they have faith in their ability over time. Through effort and difficulty, children take on new meanings and learning which extends the connections in their brain as opposed to crumbling if they make a mistake or things don’t go their own way.
Every word and action we use sends a message to the child, telling them how to think about themselves. We focus on the process they used, the strategies, effort and choices they made.