Are you the Oak or the Willow?


This whole month has been devoted to taking care of ourselves throughout these last few weeks of the school year.  Hopefully you’ve been able to find some moments to find balance, create moments of concentration, and cultivate compassion.

In this last week, our theme is RESILIENCE.

Here are a few quotes about resilience that really resonated…

“Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you’ve lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that’s good.”

― Elizabeth Edwards

Take some time to scream about what is lost.  This is tough stuff, but how can we move in the direction of rebuilding?  How can we create something that is better than before?

And another…

“The oak fought the wind and was broken, the willow bent when it must and survived.”

― Robert Jordan, The Fires of Heaven

What an image. How can we be like the willow during this time and bend based on what our NEW reality is?  How can we be like the willow and find what keeps us intact to survive this storm.  What can we let go of ?

And finally…

“If your heart is broken, make art with the pieces.”

― Shane Koyczan

This is a beautiful image too.  Our hearts may be a little broken right now.  How can we take those pieces and make something beautiful and enduring from them for our schools, our families, and ourselves?

Here are some other RESILIENCE resources that may be helpful…


I love the Cult of Pedagogy podcast AND this book Onward by Elena Aguilar.  She goes over her 12 ways to build teacher resilience that are featured in her book.  Definitely worth a listen!


Here is the full list of quotes to get inspired and pumped up for whatever life may bring to us as we move into the summer and beyond.


Looking for some quick resilience-building wins?  Here is one thing you can do each day:

Monday: Eat five different vegetables 

Tuesday: Do a deliberate act of kindness

Wednesday: Clear out the clutter in one spot 

Thursday: Spend 5 minutes in the sun

Friday: Take the VIA character strength test and make note of your TOP 5 (

Saturday: Do an activity to get your heart rate up for 5 minutes

Sunday: Take an afternoon (or an hour or two) without your phone

So how are you building resilience?  What is going well?  And how can we help each other on this path of building resilience in midst of all of these challenging unknowns? I’d love to hear from you, so please let me know your thoughts! If you’re looking for a teacher community to support your resilience-building journey, check out We are Teaching Well.

Here’s to continuing this journey of teaching well together and building this resilience in the classroom and beyond. Here’s to being the WILLOW when we can and where we can…


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *