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September 2013 | Volume 71 | Number 1
Resilience and Learning
Finding one trustworthy adult at school can help turn things around for an adolescent at risk.
With all due respect to the world's established experts on youth development, by far the most valuable things I've learned about the resilience of adolescents have come from simply listening to them. At times, teenagers can seem like frustratingly private people to parents, teachers, and others who try to reach out to them. Given the right conditions where trust and confidentiality are ensured, however, most adolescents also have an intense desire to be heard by adults—and to be seen not just as test takers or data points along a grade distribution but as the complex people they are, with real-world problems, concerns, and hopes for the future.
My in-depth interviews with adolescents in recent years have taught me that young people themselves can teach us much of what we need to know about resilience—about the relationships that make them feel heard, cared for, and valued, as well as those that silence them. Here are short profiles of several high school students, all of whom faced considerable challenges that placed them at risk.
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Copyright © 2013 by ASCD
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