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‘What it means to get back up’: Chicago Park fourth grade class reflects on resilience in video project

Chicago Park fourth grader Raquel Escobar said that she shows resilience by managing to “keep up and get good grades" during virtual classes despite unreliable internet connectivity.
“Resilience means overcoming something hard,” read Chicago Park fourth grader Arron George, in a video project on his class’ perspective on resilience.

After hearing her students discuss what resilience meant to them, Chicago Park School fourth grade teacher Audra Delany was inspired to create a video documenting their reflections.

Delany explained that the school participates in character development centered around a specific word each month.

They began the year focusing on adversity, and in February, shifted to resilience.

“They were telling me in class what those words mean to them, and they just sounded so full of conviction about what it meant to them,” said Delany, explaining that students connected the concepts to their everyday experiences, such as challenging themselves during sports, or getting back up after falling.

“It was just so sweet that they were taking it to heart, and really seemed to understand what it means to get back up and keep trying,” she added.

In the video, the students appear one by one, each reading out their perspective of resilience.

They give examples of their own resilience, including successfully completing online schoolwork through unreliable internet connectivity, missing their favorite activities during the pandemic, and getting back on their feet after a bicycle fall.

According to Delany, the process of having to reflect on the term and write about it was beneficial to the students in itself.

“Thinking through their feelings is helpful always, for all of us,” said Delany. “But, I think for kids in particular, it’s interesting and useful for them to think about how they approach problems.”

She added that, while identifying personal strengths and weaknesses may seem like a higher level process, her students are able to rise to that challenge.

“Kids are capable of looking at their patterns of learning and behavior and, if it’s working for them or, if not, how they can fix it,” said Delany.

According to Delany, this month Chicago Park students will be discussing patience, a skill she described as having been necessary during the past year.

Victoria Penate is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at vpenate@theunion.com.


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