Creating Resiliency in Incarcerated Youth: A Quick Guide for Teachers

The product of this project is in a quick guide for teachers, parents and students entitled Building Student Resiliency: What I Learned From Teaching in a Juvenile Detention Facility. The quick guide product resulted from the author’s experience educating youth who were incarcerated in a juvenile detention facility. The content of the guide is intended to encourage teachers who most certainly will have students who experience tough life situations and who struggle in the classroom. It offers advice to educators on how to develop student resiliency among students. The guide focuses upon four teacher behaviors or dispositions that can foster resiliency in youth: (1) teaching of accountability, (2) choosing to have a positive attitude toward your students, (3) compassion for others and self, and (4) celebrating perseverance and success. To illustrate these behaviors and dispositions, the author tells students’ stories, changing names and adjusting details to protect their identity. Keywords: juvenile justice system, juvenile delinquency or offending, resiliency, youth at risk, academic self-efficacy