Becoming Buoyant - Managing the Day to Day
Course Outline

Course Fee: $270
Course Numbers: EED x701 31229, SED x701 31252
Standard Course Time: 45 hours
Semester Credits: Three (3) academic credits at the post-baccalaureate level (available for an additional fee)
Credit Issued by: Humboldt State University (refer to our Graduate Credit page for credit pricing and details)
Subject Area: Special Topics

This course has been developed and optimized for online delivery using the licensed title Becoming Buoyant - Helping Teachers and Students Cope with the Day to Day, published by Routledge and authored by Marc Smith.

Introduction/Course Description:

Becoming Buoyant provides a blueprint for academic specific resilience. However, the techniques and strategies described are not exhaustive and other factors will also need to be considered. These might include the role of emotions, motivation and aspects of learning related to memory and attention.

The emphasis is on both whole-school and individual interventions, although embedding buoyancy as a whole-school initiative is preferable to individual teachers going it alone. Nevertheless, all the strategies are fully transferable so students who encounter them in one lesson can apply them in others. Many of the strategies also apply to non-academic settings and it’s hoped that both students and teachers will find them useful outside the school environment.

Course Objectives/Program Outline

Module One: Staying Afloat

Students will:

  • Demonstrate that Resilience is Evolutionary
  • Define the Concept of Resilience as Academic Buoyancy
  • Explore Buoyancy and Well-Being in Relation to Academic Achievement
  • Become Familiar with the 5 C’s of Academic Buoyancy

Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Two: The Many Faces of Resilience

Students will:

  • Understand the Deficiency Model of Resilience
  • Define what resilience means to you
  • Become familiar with the Foundations of Resilience Research
  • Explore the Kauai Resiliency Project
  • Identify Factors that Contribute to Resilience in School Settings

Project 1: The Many Faces of Resilience
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Three: Taking Care of the Small Stuff

Students will:

  • Illustrate Why People Repeat Ineffective Behaviors
  • Explore Individual Differences in Coping Styles
  • Understand the Differences Between Resilience and Academic Buoyancy
  • Investigate the Role of Academic Risk
  • Define the Components of Academic Buoyancy
  • Examine the Role of the Wider Environment and Resilience

Project 2: Taking Care of Business, Everyday!
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Four: Personality and the 5 C’s

Students will:

  • Explore Buoyancy in Relationship to Cognitive/Non-Cognitive Skills
  • Understand Academic Buoyancy As It Relates to Executive Function
  • Define the Role and Theory of Personality
  • Identify the Big 5 Personality Traits
  • Investigate Heritability and Consistency of Personality
  • Identify Traits That Are More Useful Than Others
  • Understand Personality and Its Relation to Academic Performance

Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Five: Creating Good Habits

Students will:

  • Become Familiar with Habit Theory
  • Understand Habits in Relation to Past Goal Pursuit
  • Illustrate a Typical Habit Loop
  • Demonstrate the Suppression of Habits through Effortful Inhibition
  • Break Bad Habits through Self-Regulation and Increased Meta-Awareness

Project 3: We Are Creatures of Habit
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Six: Setting and Pursuing Goals

Students will:

  • Define Goals as Future Intentions or Valued Outcomes
  • Identify Goals in Relation to Educational Settings
  • Recognize the Importance of Specific/Targeted Goals
  • Generate Sub-Goals that Lead to Fulfillment of Long-Term Goals
  • Create a Step-By-Step Plan using a SMART Model

Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Seven: Getting Stuff Done

Students will:

  • Define Procrastination
  • Analyze the Predictors of Procrastination
  • Become familiar with Procrastination in Relation to Self-Control
  • Explore Procrastination and Its Impact on Decision Making
  • Understand Self-handicapping and the Fear of Failure
  • Identify Behavioral and Emotional Changes

Project 4: The Art of Keeping Up with Yesterday
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Eight: Composure and Emotional Stability

Students will:

  • Explore the Basics of Stress
  • Become Familiar With the Biology of Stress
  • Define the Cortisol Awaking Response (CAR)
  • Examine the Positive Side of Stress
  • Recognize the Causes of Stress in Young People
  • Analyze the Diathesis Stress Model
  • Explore Anxiety and Buoyancy

Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Nine: Dealing with Anxiety

Students will:

  • Define Composure and Its Ability to Control Anxiety
  • Examine the Fear of Failing or Fear of Falling
  • Explore the Failure Matrix
  • Become Familiar with the Concept of Stop, Accept, Refresh, Continue
  • Examine Safety-Seeking and Fear-Avoidance

Project 5: Bundle of Nerves...!
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Ten: Control

Students will:

  • Explore Locus of Control and Attribution Theory
  • Become Familiar With the Overriding Control Mechanism
  • Define the Dimensions of Causality
  • Examine Where Control Comes From
  • Analyze the Role of Cognitive Bias
  • Illustrate Core Beliefs and Automatic Thoughts

Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Eleven: Becoming Confident

Students will:

  • Reflect on Early School Experiences
  • Become Familiar with Status Anxiety and Peer Comparisons
  • Examine the Problem with Self-Esteem
  • Define Self-Efficacy
  • Explore Self-Efficacy and Buoyancy
  • Explore Individual Differences
  • Understand Adaptability as It Relates to Academic Buoyancy
  • Examine Relationships and the Culture of the Classroom

Project 6: You’ve Got This!
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Final Exam

Multiple choice questions taken from each module

Final Learning Statement

Learning statements should be in a narrative format – as opposed to an outline format. Depending on individual writing styles Learning statements should be 2-3 pages. The learning statement can vary according to individual style. Your learning statement should answer the broad question of "what did you learn?". To help get you thinking, here are some suggested questions:

  • What are the major concepts of the course that you have learned?
  • What new professional language have you acquired relating to the topic?
  • What teaching techniques for implementing new strategies in the classroom did you come away with?
  • Thinking back to your project reflections, were you surprised at the outcomes?
  • What new resources did you find in the study of the content?
  • As an educator, what new concepts will you now integrate into your teaching?
  • Are there any ideas that presented themselves as enlightening and useful?

--- Sample Course Project ---

Project #3 Overview: We Are Creatures of Habit

In module 5, we learned that habits are curious things. Sometimes we are aware of them and sometimes we aren’t. One thing is for sure, habits are difficult to break.

For this project:

Take a moment to answer these questions:

  • Currently, what are some advantageous habits you have right now? How do they serve you?
  • Currently, what are some detrimental habits you have right now? Why are they bad for you?
  • In the past, think of a habit you broke. Why did you break it? How did you do it?
  • Have you watched someone in your life break a habit? How did they do it?
  • Think of a student. Have you observed a student developing, changing, or breaking a habit?
  • How did it feel to observe? Did you have a part in their process?

For Your Written Project Reflection Submission

After taking some time to answer the questions above, reflect on your process using the following bullet points as a guide:

  • What aHa about habits will you immediately bring back to your classroom?
  • Why is it important to you and your students?
  • After experiencing this module, what habit would you like to grow in yourself?
  • What can you do to support its development?
  • What role does routine play in your process?

Visit the Module Projects section located within the Course Dashboard, and take a moment to share your findings by submitting your written project reflection.


Humboldt State University Credit Specifics

  • Academic Credit through Humboldt State University (HSU) is offered after successful completion of each course.
  • The 700 series semester credit is post-baccalaureate level appropriate for credentialed teachers which do not require admission to a graduate program.
  • Courses are letter graded on official transcripts from HSU.
  • HSU is the northernmost and westernmost institution in the 23-campus California State University (CSU) system.
  • HSU is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), a regional accrediting agency serving a diverse membership of public and private higher education institutions.

Summer Option

If you are not currently teaching (ie. Summer break, you are a substitute teacher, etc.), each class offers you the ability to complete coursework independent of a classroom assignment.