We Still Love John

October 13, 2009

Jocelyn’s Reflection

Filed under: #5: review and evaluation — welovejohn @ 1:51 pm

Since my focus was on resilience and the effect of positive versus self-defeating thinking, I believe that this is what I’ve learnt the most about. I have become convinced of the importance of positive thinking and am quite resolved in finding out how I may continue to incorporate this amongst the children I will teach. From previous experience, I have encountered children just like John. While circumstances may differ slightly, the gist of struggling with negative thoughts hangs heavy among all of them. It is of concern that the young today seem to be more prone to anxiety and depression and as teachers, we should be equipped to address this issue.

Psychologists throughout the years have always been intrigued by what makes people flourish despite their dire backgrounds. They’ve discovered that resilient kids share key traits: the ability to trust and form caring relationships, a sense of independence, good problem-solving skills, perseverance, and a belief that their lives have meaning and purpose. These are precisely the skills that we wish to impart to our children! While others may be skeptical about whether such skills can really be taught and argue that resilience is instead “caught” when one undergoes a trial, the Penn Resiliency Programme proves this otherwise.

During the programme, children learnt to “de-catastrophize” – which was to look at their problems from a different perspective and think about “what was the worst that could happen” given the circumstances they were in. And this is the main concern that our group will be addressing with John. We believe that having this positive/resilient mindset will help John climb out of the rut that he’s in as well. What we hope for him (and other children like him that we’ll possibly meet when we fly the NIE coop) is that John will be able to have the capacity to make realistic plans (i.e. for his coming PSLE) and take steps to carry them out. We would also like John to have a positive view of himself and confidence in his own strengths and abilities. Above all, John also has to work on skills in communication and problem solving as well as his capacity to manage strong feelings and impulses. If he remains there, John will continue with his negative thoughts about himself and the people around him who genuinely care, and will also probably continue to struggle with it for the rest of his life.

So we really hope that John will learn the difference between positive and self-defeating thinking…and be able to master the former! 🙂

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1 Comment »

  1. Go, John! 😀 Also, you’ve seemed to have formed quite an attachment to the concept of resilience! Hee! I like it lots too 🙂

    Comment by puddleofgoo — October 13, 2009 @ 4:45 pm


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