A quest for a new way forward - The role of wellbeing, resilience and mental toughness in education

As the global community struggles to adapt to a new normal, the scale and scope of the pandemic’s impact is only beginning to emerge. Apart from the obvious disruption to learning and school closures, further uncertainties are likely to have other extensive negative effects. Measures will be needed to support a return to some kind of normality and resilient learning so that children and their teachers are better prepared to address not only the impact of COVID-19 but any future challenges.

Undoubtedly teaching is a stressful profession at the best of times but during a global pandemic, it was likely to test the mental health and resilience of even the hardiest education professional. A report released by the Education Support a UK charity dedicated to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of education staff shows how resilience helps us cope better in the face of adversity and just how crucial relationships and support networks are at times of need. It is well documented and researched that teachers and students who reported having higher levels of resilience (defined in the survey as “the ability to adapt and recover after experiencing difficulties or challenges in life”) had better mental health and increased optimism. We need to find better ways to equip teachers and students with actionable strategies to build resilience, wellbeing and mental toughness in education.

Gilda Scarfe, CEO and Founder-Positive Ed Ltd
Hind AlMualla, Chief of Creativity, Happiness and Wellbeing - Knowledge & Human Development Authority (KHDA)
Nargish Khambatta, Principal and CEO, Vice President-GEMS Modern Academy, GEMS Education
Tracy Moxley, Director of Education-Aldar Education