Those of you who were around in the 1970s will remember Weebles – those round, smiling faces that wobbled but never fell down. I came across one of my childhood Weebles when tidying my office recently. I used to use it as part of my Lower 4 lessons on resilience. My aim was to teach pupils how to develop the ability to bounce back after adversity. Never have we needed to be Weebles more than this January.
The pandemic has now lasted for a year and we have wobbled as announcements have been made relating to Christmas plans, school reopening, vaccine and testing programmes and national lockdown. Fortunately, I have always had strong Weeble tendencies – ‘bouncebackability’ and eternal optimism. However, the lessons that I taught to pupils, apply to myself.
Resilience is fundamentally developed by having a support network around you, of family, friends and colleagues. I watched a TED talk on the topic, delivered by someone who had studied resilience in young people over many years, as part of my lesson preparation. There are clearly techniques that can be developed but fundamentally it is the love shown by humans towards one another that builds resilience. It is the bonds between family, friends and colleagues, the caring word, the smile, the helping hand that will develop resilience. My amazing team of senior leaders, staff, pupils, governors and parents, has enabled me to ‘go again’ each day, no matter how many challenges present themselves each day.
So, make sure that you spend time each day strengthening those bonds – get the Cluedo out, build some lego structures, go for that walk (even if it is dark and wet outside), play Uno at the dinner table with all the family members before they disappear into their rooms/ offices, put ‘Mamma Mia’ on the telly and sing along, get Granny to join in on zoom. Every moment spent together will ensure that you ‘wobble but don’t fall down.’
Wishing you all a restful weekend
For more nostalgia, you can watch Mrs Holloway talking about Weebles in assembly!