Thrivers: A Discussion Guide for Teachers

Every so often a book comes along that is so timely and needed, you'd think the author consulted a crystal ball before writing it. In my view, "Thrivers: The Surprising Reasons Why Some Kids Struggle and Other Shine" is such a book.

Written by best-selling author Dr. Michele Borba, an educational psychologist, this engagingly-readable book identifies the essential character strengths children need to "thrive" in a challenging post-COVID world. For teachers tasked with helping kids get back on track, both educationally and emotionally, this book is a lifesaver. It provides a roadmap for teaching the following eight essential skills:

  • Self-confidence: Using personal strengths to find purpose and meaning.

  • Empathy: Understanding and sharing another’s feelings while acting compassionately.

  • Self-control: Managing stress, delaying gratification, and strengthening focus.

  • Integrity: Adhering to a strong moral code, thinking ethically, and leading a moral life.

  • Curiosity: Having an open mind and willingness to try new ideas, take risks, and innovate.

  • Perseverance: Exhibiting fortitude, tenacity, and resolve to endure and bounce back.

  • Optimism: Learning self-advocacy and encouraging hope.


The "Thriver's Educator Guide" that accompanies the book (available below as a download) can help teachers support one another as they begin instilling these character traits.