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Resilient Schools, Resilient Kids

Conversation Guide

Much of the media coverage about our schools today talks about America’s failing education system and how the United States has fallen in global rankings on education. Resilience is our ability to withstand or recover quickly from difficult situations. What are the right questions to be asking our educators and administrators that will improve resiliency in our schools? And subsequently in our children? In this conversation, we explore the qualities of resilience, the impact of schools on our communities and how we can improve.

Background Information:

While you don't need to be an expert on this topic, sometimes people want background information. Our partner, AllSides, has prepared a variety of articles reflecting multiple sides of this topic.

Let's Get Started!

This Living Room Conversation flows through five rounds of questions and a closing. Some rounds ask you to answer each question. Others feature multiple questions that serve as conversation starters — you need only respond to the one or two you find most interesting.

Before you Begin...

Please go over the Conversation Agreements with your participants.

ONE: Why are we here?

What interested you or drew you to this topic?

TWO: Your core values

Answer one or more of the following:

  • What sense of purpose or duty guides you in life? What is your mission statement?
  • What would your best friend say about who you are and what makes you tick?
  • What are your hopes and concerns for your community and/or the country, now and long-term?
THREE:

Your thoughts and concerns

Remember that the goal of this Living Room Conversation is for each participant to listen to and learn about the different opinions within the group to see where you might share interests, intentions, and goals.

Answer one or more of the following:

  • When have you experienced resilience in your life?  Or observed it in others?
  • Do you think our local, public education system encourages resilience? What is your experience that supports your thinking?
  • What part of your education or growing up, best prepared you for being a contributing adult?
  • How do we increase our social and emotional intelligence?

FOUR: Reflection

Answer one or more of the following:

  • In one sentence, share what was most meaningful or valuable to you in the experience of this Living Room Conversation?
  • What new understanding or common ground did you find within this topic?
  • Has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group, including yourself?

FIVE: Accomplishment and moving forward

Answer both of the following questions:

  • Name one important thing that was accomplished here.
  • Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?

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