COURAGEOUS and sustained by HOPE
As a Christian school, we have a unique opportunity to speak truth into our students’ lives. Our school not only focuses on preparing our students academically, but also spiritually. Providing an education that has God at the center. It is our desire that students who attend HCOS will be courageous and sustained by hope and that is the part of the Learner Profile we are focussing on this month.
It is vital for our students to become courageous in order to develop into leaders. This doesn’t mean that all fear is removed from our students’ lives, rather courage can often coexist with fear, but having courage means their lives are not bound by fear. In fact, being courageous allows us to take appropriate risks, becoming decision makers and responsibility takers.
Tim Elmore from Growing Leaders lists 5 qualities of courage that are important for students:
Courage is contagious
The good news is, just like fear can be contagious, so can courage. When a student takes a stand on what is right, they often give permission to others to do the same. This is why leadership often begins with entrepreneurship.
Courage is initiating and doing what you are afraid of doing.
As I said earlier, courage can co-exist with fear. In fact, it acts in spite of fear. You can’t build courage with mere lectures or theories. Like a muscle, courage only grows when we act. It requires that we run to the roar.
Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.
When we cling to what’s familiar or comfortable, we tend to eliminate risk. Unfortunately, risk is a prerequisite for courage. When we risk too little and rescue too quickly, we diminish a student’s chances to grow courage.
Courage is vision in action.
Anyone can catch a vision. In fact, anyone who’s ever taken a shower has probably gotten a good idea. Courage is what enables us to get out of the shower, dry off, and do something about that good idea.
Courage takes the risk and seizes what is essential for growth.
Healthy courage is always about forward movement and growth. Leaders always push teams toward progress. It involves risk and action. Once these are displayed, they become a model for others to follow.
In our HCOS Learner Profile we define courageous as “Students will gain confidence from the knowledge of God’s sovereignty”. We hope that fostering this type of courage will enable them to step out in confidence, to become leaders in their generation.
The sustaining force needed to maintain courage is hope, which plays a defining role in our lives. It equips us with an optimistic point of view, driving us to problem solve, overcome obstacles and obtain goals. When students cultivate hope, it becomes a sustaining force in their lives.
Vicki Zakrzewski talks about encouraging students to build hope in her article “How to Help Students Develop Hope” and here is a small excerpt
So how do teachers know which students are high in hope? They are the students who don’t take failure personally. Instead, they use it to improve their performance next time. They’re also more optimistic, and, in the face of obstacles, they tell themselves, “I can do this. I won’t give up.”
Hope doesn’t mean wishful thinking—as in “I hope I win the lottery.” Instead, a person who is high in hope knows how to do the following things.
- Set clear and attainable goals.
- Develop multiple strategies to reach those goals.
- Stay motivated to use the strategies to attain the goals, even when the going gets tough.
For those who want to help their students build these skills of hope, here are five research-based guidelines.
- Identify and prioritize their top goals, from macro to micro.
- Breakdown the goals—especially long-term ones—into steps.
- Teach students that there’s more than one way to reach a goal.
- Tell stories of success.
- Keep it light and positive.
We are excited to partner with you to help encourage each student to become courageous and sustained by hope, creating resilient and persistent learners and leaders.
If you are interested on reading more about courage and hope for our students we recommend starting with the full articles referenced above.