A New Principle: Resilience

As we were preparing for and designing a reading group experience, a new principle emerged: resilience. I had said to Valerie: “If this design does not work for those who come to the Zoom session, we can just drop it. Forget about it.”

Val replied, “How about, we adjust the design, Jane?”

I remembered the encouraging words of my caring and perceptive pastor when I had just come from the hospital after surgery, and was fighting to avoid rehab and get home! Stephanie said words I shall never forget: “You are resilient, Jane, and you always find the joy.”

Today, I looked up resilient. It comes from the Latin word resilire: to leap back!  Leap!

I realized that Valerie was willing to be resilient when the design was not working, and ready to leap back and adjust it as needed. Without such resilience, we can stop the process, a process designed to help people learn. Valerie’s resilience saved the day.

I propose we add RESILIENCE to our principles (or is it a practice). I hope we can show the courage and trust to adjust a design to fit the learners’ needs. With resilience we can learn to listen to their feedback, watch their emotional response to the learning tasks, note their gestures and demeanor – read the group! And, leap back to adjust our design.

How has resilience shown up in your learning events lately?


Jane Vella is a celebrated author, educator and founder of Global Learning Partners. Read more reflections and writings from Jane here.