The Educator’s Guide to Building Child & Family Resilience

Scholastic Professional. Oct. 2023. 160p. pap. $35.99. ISBN 9781338839449.
Relying on research from the Yale Child Study Center, the authors explore what resilience is and how elementary educators can support their students in developing it. They begin with a metaphor, explaining and illustrating resilience as a scale in which negative experiences and positive supports counterbalance one another to produce either positive or negative outcomes. It follows, then, that educators can offer positive supports to help balance the scale and “shift the fulcrum.” The authors emphasize that resilience is not a fixed, internal trait, but rather a complex network of skills and capacities, including developing strong relationships, forming positive self-identities, building curiosity and motivation, engaging in flexible thinking, and demonstrating altruism. The book examines each of these capacities in turn, providing anecdotes and examples from educators, offering book recommendations for grades K–5, and sharing routines and activities for the classroom. While some of the suggested titles and activities tread familiar ground, Myers and Mayes frame their discussion in a nuanced, accessible way.
VERDICT A useful introductory text; for a more in-depth look at trauma-informed practices, try Alex Shevrin Venet’s Equity-Centered Trauma-Informed Education.

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