Express: I’m so Vulnerable! How to Become Resilient in a Chaotic World (10.12-11.25.22)

Express: I’m so Vulnerable! How to Become Resilient in a Chaotic World (10.12-11.25.22)

Oct 12th

Date: October 12 – November 25, 2022
Course #: LR 288:716
Credit: 3 credit hours
Registration Deadline: October 12th @5:00 p.m.

Resiliency is the ability to recover quickly from life’s problems. Psychological resilience is the ability to emotionally cope with a crisis or to return to pre-crisis status swiftly. In order to do that, we humans have to dig deep into our coping skills and internal strength and safeguard and defend ourselves from the negative impact of tension and strife; and, tension and strife can get pretty horrible.

As adults, we deal with the aging process in ourselves and our parents. We deal with each developmental level our children go through and hold on for the long ride through their adolescence. It’s tough enough when things go right, when we are healthy, our children are healthy and our parents are healthy. It is a real balancing act when things go wrong and we are caught in the cross fire of dual or even triple tragedies.

How do resilient people, adults and children, make it through? Why do some people get through trauma relatively unscathed and others end up with a life time of debilitating mental and physical problems? We will explore these questions and more in this class.

I’m So Vulnerable: How to Become Resilient in a Chaotic World is a class designed to help participants define what it means to be vulnerable and how to achieve resiliency. The class will explore:


Basic brain functioning and how neurons and synapses work to form our habits, as well as the neuroscience behind our thoughts.
The key elements for building a healthy self-image and creating a resilient and strong self.
Managing anger, calming our minds and bodies, and using the red zone vs green zone strategy to understand how to control defensiveness.
How to fine tune and enhance our emotions for the positive with special attention given to how to deal with our negative thoughts and our inner critic.
How to build on the characteristics of compassion, mindfulness, grit, gratitude, confidence, motivation, intimacy, courage, aspiration and generosity within ourselves.

The world can be chaotic. Our lives can be chaotic. Teaching can definitely be chaotic! Life can throw us off our balance, make us feel ungrounded – vulnerable. Make your self-care a priority this summer by doing something for yourself and taking a step towards living your best life.

This is a 3 credit hour Iowa license renewal course. Course goals will be met through instructor designed activities, supplemental readings, videos, reflections, and instructor feedback. This course is presented in a modified, self-paced format. Participants are expected to access the course and post regularly (at least once a week) and make reasonable progress, but there are no due dates attached to individual assignments. Instead there are 2 absolute due dates (mid-term and the last day of class) to provide flexibility and to better accommodate participants’ busy schedules.

Course Objectives
By the end of the course, participants will…

  1. Understand how to develop compassion and how a compassionate mind can alleviate suffering;
  2. Understand how mindfulness can increase calm, improve physical and mental health and well-being;
  3. Know how to become responsive rather than reactive and apply strategies to manage defensiveness that improve productivity and well-being;
  4. Know how to apply strategies to retrain the brain to be more positive and appreciative;
  5. Understand to importance of grit, agency and determination in developing a strong self;
  6. Know how to develop better self-confidence, self-image, self-awareness and self-acceptance;
  7. Know strategies to improve intimacy;
  8. Understand the roles of happiness, materialism and generosity in contentment; and
  9. Understand how to develop power and courage.

How Does This Course Support The Iowa Core?
Both teachers and students need to be supported in classroom achievement. Teachers and students are assailed by overwhelming demands every day that damage confidence and competence; achievement suffers.

Teachers need to understand how to deal with these issues for themselves and their students; they need to develop coping mechanisms to become resilient and promote a healthy mind and body. The connection between student and teacher is very important and the participant will learn how to build resiliency in himself and his students in a positive and productive way. Students who are supported at school and are resilient are more capable academically and behaviorally and have the impetus to go to college or post-secondary education. Teachers who are resilient are able to motivate themselves and their students and are able to enjoy teaching.

Students and teachers who build strong, healthy relationships are better at critical thinking, problem solving, are more curious and willing to take on leadership roles. They also work well with others. Research has shown that mindfulness practices help with executive functioning skills and provide students with a way to cope in this complex world.

This falls in line with the Iowa Core that states school preparation should produce the following:

  1. Students who are college and career ready in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language.
  2. Students who are proficient in English, language arts, history, social studies, science, and technical subjects in all grade levels.
  3. Students who are proficient in 21st century skills such as critical thinking/problem solving, curiosity, collaboration and leadership.

Course Topics that Support Instructional Practices and Strategies:
*The Neuroscience of Compassion
*The Connection Between Compassion, Courage & Well-Being
*Creating a Compassionate Mind
*The Benefits of Mindfulness & Meditation
*Response vs. Reaction: The effects on performance, emotions, behavior & stress
*Red Zone/Green Zone Strategy & Skills & Competencies Produced in the Green Zone
*Rewiring the Brain for Happiness & to Be More Positive
*The Role of the Mind in Our Health & the HEAL Strategy
*Determination: How Grit & Agency Affect Resilience
*Benefits of a Grateful Mindset & How to Cultivating Gratitude
*The Neuroscience of Self-Confidence
*Steps Towards Greater Self-Acceptance
*Staying Calm & Cool when Overwhelmed & Stressed; Managing Anger
*Pleasure, Addiction & Incentive-Sensitization Theory
*How Our Quest for Pleasure is Linked to Happiness
*Find Your Sweet Spot – The Convergence of Passion, Talent & Money.
*Elements of Healthy Intimacy
*Self-Determination Theory: How a Degree of Autonomy Can Improve Relationships
*Autonomy & Empathy
*It Takes Courage to Build Healthy Relationships
*Characteristics of Healthy Relationships
*What It Means to Aspire: The Difference between Aspirations & Ambitions
*The Power & Biology of Generosity

This is a 3 credit hour Iowa license renewal only course. Grading is Pass/Fail. Students are required to participate in and complete all assignments and/or activities. Participants must earn scores of 80% or better to receive Pass score and receive credit.

Required Text:
Resilient: How to Grow an Unshakable Core of Calm, Strength, and Happiness (2020), By Rick Hansen, Harmony Publishing, NY
ISBN-10: 0451498860
ISBN-13: 978-0451498861

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**Important Information for You**
Please read through as these are Frequently Asked Questions in which answers can be found within this page.

  1. The instructor will email you once the start date arrives with information on how to get started in the class:
    1. Emails regarding this class will come from the instructor/organization with an email address ending in;
    2. Be sure to check your junk/spam/clutter folders-mailboxes in case the email isn’t recognized as known mail; and
    3. If you are using a school email address, many schools have their network security filters set up to push unknown emails directly to spam and you will not see even see it-if this is the case you will need to either talk to your IT department and request emails with the email address be allowed through or let us know you want to use a different email address.
  2. The Tabs at the top of the registration page have important additional information regarding this class:
    1. The Syllabus gives information of what will be expected of you in the course. Generally it will include course policies, rules and regulations, required texts, and a schedule of assignment;
    2. The Fees will let you know how much this class will cost depending on the type of credit you want to take it for as well as if you are an ISEA member or not;
    3. The Cancellation Policy is important so you know how to cancel if you need to and how refunds are handled; and
    4. The ISEA Official Transcript page tells you how to access your transcript once the class has ended.