Is there something more important than having resources? It’s resourcefulness.
In simple terms, resourcefulness is a person’s ability to make the most of available things. It is a trait that helps an individual achieve goals by using things they have at their disposal without waiting for the right time and resources. This quality is extremely helpful in times of adversity when you need to think quickly, work smart, and find clever alternatives to find solutions.
Resourcefulness is a quality that every person must possess to be able to deal with new or challenging situations. Even teachers and students in a school setting must embrace and practice resourcefulness so that they can adapt to educational challenges and foster a culture of continuous learning. Wondering in which ways resourcefulness can be exhibited in a school setting? Keep reading as we share with you examples of this highly valued skill being practiced in a school environment.
Characteristics of a resourceful person
Instead of moving straight to resourcefulness examples, it would be better if you first understood what makes a person resourceful. Here are some unique traits that you will find in people who know how to get things done even when things are not in their favor.
A resourceful person…
- Is always open to facing challenges.
- Is eager to find alternative ways to find solutions.
- Is good at thinking outside the box to find creative ideas to solve problems.
- Is eager to learn new skills to be able to accomplish tasks without relying on others.
- Is very adaptable to changing needs and environments.
- Is happy to share knowledge and skills with other people.
- Is good at communicating with others.
- Is someone who uses resources mindfully.
- Is willing to seek assistance when they need it.
Illustrative examples of resourcefulness in a school setting
Resourcefulness in school is demonstrated by both teachers and students and can be observed in various forms. Below are some examples to give you a glimpse of how students and teachers show resourcefulness in school:
1. Students using unconventional materials or innovative research techniques to complete assignments.
2. Making a DIY notebook planner or using calendars to manage time for academic learning and extracurricular activities effectively.
3. Teachers utilize available resources like multimedia or group instruction activities to accommodate the different learning needs of students.
4. Utilizing technology to help students learn better. For example, a teacher allows students to use fun apps to practice sentence-building skills.
5. A student asking for help from peers or other teachers when the subject teacher is not present to assist.
6. Recycling old materials for new projects when supplies are limited.
7. Using limited books effectively by allowing students to share them when an assignment is due.
8. Teachers network and exchange ideas with other educators to broaden their knowledge and teaching skills so they can improve classroom instruction.
9. Teachers find creative ways to secure funding for school materials and big projects. For example, organizing a fun run to advertise local businesses in your community in exchange for monetary help for school.
10. High school students connect with their guidance counselor to find information and apply for scholarships to support their higher education.
11. Using effective oral and written communication skills to resolve issues among peers.
12. Adapting to remote learning and using technology to support learning in times when in-person school is not feasible like it was in times of the pandemic.
13. Mending old books and folders so they can be used for a longer period.
14. Learning and using another tool like Canva to make worksheets when there is no access to the tool teachers regularly use.
15. Watching tutorials on the Internet to make crafts students have no idea about.
16. Students showcase their resourcefulness by creating educational content like infographics, podcasts, or videos to explain concepts to peers.
17. Joining online learning communities like Coursera to expand knowledge and skills.
18. Teachers organize virtual field trips for students when personal trips are not possible. For example, taking students on a trip to faraway national parks or zoos by accessing webcams placed around the park.
19. Establishing peer tutoring networks so students can help each other with topics they find difficult to comprehend.
20. Using available materials to create DIY study aids like flashcards or flip books to master complex topics.
Why is it important to teach resourcefulness to students?
Stress and challenges are not just a part of adult life. Even students, whether at school or in college, go through their fair share of stress and challenges, which can negatively impact their academic performance. Interestingly, a study reported that less resourceful students experienced a greater impact of academic stress and achieved lower grades. However, those with high resourcefulness had no effect on academic stress.
This clearly suggests that if we want students not to get jittery when new challenges come up and to be capable of facing them head-on, we must encourage them to be more resourceful. Gaining this valuable skill will prepare them to resolve problems during their academic journey and later in adult life.
Furthermore, resourcefulness will prepare students to thrive in this ever-changing world. Things that were relevant a few years ago no longer exist in today’s world. So you can imagine that by the time today’s students reach adulthood, they will experience even greater changes in the way the world works. In such times, individuals who are good at solving problems creatively and independently will be more valued in the workplace.
Therefore, it is important to promote resourcefulness in the classroom so students are ready to face the world when it is time.
Tips to foster resourcefulness in students
Students spend almost half of their day at school with teachers. Using this time to imbibe resourcefulness can encourage students to think critically and find solutions to their everyday problems. Some tips to make this possible are:
- Present them with problems that need them to be resourceful.
- Allow your students to make mistakes and find ways to rectify them.
- Encourage students to read about resourceful people and learn from their experiences.
- Let them be creative, and don’t mind if students do not take a traditional approach to meeting goals.
- Let students decide when to exert independence and when to work in collaboration for maximum outcomes.
- Teach students to think critically and analyze problems from different angles before they move on to finding solutions.
- Allow them to make choices, such as selecting which projects and study methods to take on.
- Encourage students to reflect on their learning. It will help them identify what worked and what didn’t during the process.
Resourcefulness is a powerful skill that holds significance in all spheres of life. It doesn’t matter which stage of life you’re at. You could be a student, a professional, or a stay-at-home parent. Your ability to be resourceful can help you overcome difficulties and tackle every problem that might come your way.
As schools set the foundation for a bright future, creating an environment that encourages resourcefulness can help students imbibe this quality and prepare them for the long run. Teachers can set examples for their students by highlighting how they themselves practice resourcefulness to support their learning and getting them involved in activities for improving resourcefulness to inculcate this trait in them deep within.
By following this approach, it is possible to teach students not to run away from their problems. Rather, use their limited resources in the best way possible to find innovative ways to overcome problems in life.
- SERAP AKGUN & JOSEPH CIARROCHI (2003) Learned Resourcefulness Moderates the Relationship Between Academic Stress and Academic Performance, Educational Psychology, 23:3, 287-294, DOI: 10.1080/0144341032000060129
I am Priyanka Sonkushre, a writer and blogger. I am the person behind “One Loving Mama,” a mom blog. Equipped with a Bachelor’s degree along with an MBA, my healthcare background helps me deeply understand learning difficulties. I know how challenging it can be for parents to find the right resources to help their children excel in life. So, here I am to blend my healthcare expertise with my parenting experience to create valuable and helpful resources for parents and teachers supporting children with learning differences. If you wish, you can follow me on Facebook and LinkedIn.