“I’m having a harder time with the transition into middle school than my child” is something I overheard at a recent school event.  I have spent some time over the last few days really reflecting on this statement, as change and transition has been a salient topic for me lately.  Much of my work over the past few weeks has been focused on supporting students in transition, and not to mention, I am in a state of transition myself being new to Harrisburg Academy.  However, not until I heard this statement did I fully consider that with changes for students come changes for parents and families, as well.

New experiences and times of change are challenging for students and families, alike.  At times the part of transition that can seem the most difficult is that mistakes can (and will) happen.  It’s normal!  This can be tough for students (and families) as mistakes or setbacks are often perceived as failure, and of course, none of us want to fail.  However, there is a silver lining in the concept of failure because with failure comes the opportunity to exercise resilience.

Resilience, or a person’s capacity to cope with changes and challenges, as well as the ability to “bounce back,” is a skill that can be learned and developed.  The focus on the development of strong resiliency skills is well worth the effort, as one of our alumni so simply and eloquently stated last week at our annual Alumni Achievement Awards and Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony assembly — “Resiliency is the counter to failure,” he said.

Building resilience in our students will allow them to work through feelings of perceived failure, giving them the strength, energy, and vision to continue to move forward when it may seem easiest, or even necessary, to give up.  While there are many factors that build resilience, some of the most noteworthy include a student’s ability to stay calm, trust in himself or herself, seek an attitude of gratitude, and build a community of support.

As another one of our esteemed alums stated this past week, “Adversity and disappointment is inevitable; how is it nurtured is what makes the difference.”  I am pleased to join the Harrisburg Academy family to work with students and families in building strong, capable, resilient students.

Learn more about Harrisburg Academy on our school website.