Building Resilience

By January 19, 2017 Head's Blog


I was talking to a friend yesterday who told me that he was feeling moody and down lately. He’s not much of a winter person so he finds Ottawa winters tough. He’s also had to work really hard over the last two years on his new business and he hasn’t taken a single day of vacation since he started. He recognizes that it’s time for him to take a break and recharge his batteries. Like all gritty people, he knows that taking care of himself now will help him be strong in the long run.

There are many ways to recharge our batteries and boost our resilience. One way we do this at Elmwood is by running Winterim the last week in January. We’re delighted with the huge range of activities on offer again this year and by the girls’ engagement in the program. Everyone is geared up for next week and I am sure that the change of pace will help carry us all through the final phase of winter.

Speaking of a change of pace, our Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award participants returned from their dog sledding expedition last night. They are exhausted, but they are also proud of how they overcame the challenges of the activity. There’s nothing like reaching goals and overcoming challenges to help build grit. You’ll find more information about their trip in this newsletter along with two examples of building resilience from our Junior School.

I also returned to this theme in assembly this week and challenged Elmwood girls to do two things. Inspired by the story of Florence Nightingale, I encouraged them to practice resilience themselves. I also shared with them a lovely story about a runner who fell close to the finish line in a half marathon last weekend. His two ‘angels’ lent him some of their resilience and, with their help, he was able to finish the race.

Screen Shot 2017-01-19 at 2.29.11 PM

Using this as an example, my second challenge to the girls was to help someone else who was feeling less resilient than themselves. So if you see your daughter trying to help someone else feel stronger, you’ll know what she’s doing.

Looking to continue the conversation at home? I’m sure your daughters would love to hear your own real-life examples of resilience, and would find inspiration in your stories.

Have a wonderful weekend,

About Cheryl Boughton

Cheryl has been leading Elmwood since August 2008, when she was chosen by the Board of Governors, after a global search, to be the eleventh Headmistress of the School. She has a rich and diverse background in independent education having held progressively senior roles managing independent schools in the United Kingdom.