Part II: 5 Ways Teachers Can Nurture Self-Aware Middle Schoolers

The article talks about the role of teachers in teaching middle-schoolers become more self-aware to create a thriving and positive school environment

Self-awareness is a complex subject. Even adults have a tough time grappling with it. However, the good news is that self-awareness, like any science, can be taught. With the right tools, pedagogy, and intent, schools can teach kids to hone their self-awareness skills. With the proper knowledge, young students can go on to become productive members of their communities. Here are the top 5 ways in which teachers nurture self-aware middle-schoolers.

Encourage Kids to Journal

Keeping a journal is an excellent way for students to connect with themselves. A simple act of putting their thoughts and their daily activities in writing brings new perspectives into their thinking. Students will reminisce what they did and how it affected them and others around them. A journal helps them relive the day and identify the moments they missed or overlooked. Such a daily activity builds patience and helps them get better every day.

Identifying Strengths & Weaknesses

Every child is different. They come from unique backgrounds, live vibrant and diverse lives, and have access to distinct sets of resources. Teachers should appreciate the diversity and help students appreciate them too. When they understand their strengths and find a safe space to talk about their weaknesses, they are more likely to work on them. Discussing weaknesses should not be taboo, and teachers should make an effort to make a classroom environment that allows just that.

Make Academics Relatable

When a subject is taught in class, teachers should try to connect it to the experiences and personal memories of students. For instance, if the class is about the French Revolution, teachers should ask questions like – “When was the last time you felt you needed to raise your voice against something?” This helps students reminisce, search through their memory bank and find relevant memories. Discussing these in the class will help them understand the subject and themselves better. It will also give them perspective. When multiple students share their experiences, they will realize that they are not going through certain emotions alone, and such an experience can be extraordinarily empowering.

Focus on Self-Awareness

Apart from teaching self-awareness as a side subject, teachers can also encourage schools to add self-awareness to their formal curriculum. With structured programs like SEL Adventures around, teachers can easily find all the classroom instructions, subject content, and activity suggestions in one place. It makes it easy for students to grasp the significance of self-awareness, learn quickly, and apply that knowledge via expertly designed activities.

Teaching Self-Awareness Made Easy

Self-awareness plays a crucial role in the development of a child and has a critical bearing on their future. Teaching self-awareness to students from a young age also improves the school climate and results in a highly productive learning environment. Schools have a huge incentive to provide their teachers with the right tools to teach their students to be self-aware.



How Self-Aware Students Function?

The article details the impact of teaching students to be self-aware. It describes the benefits schools can expect to see in their school climate when they actively invest in coaching students to be self-aware.

Self-awareness is an integral part of social-emotional learning. In the most basic terms, self-awareness means understanding who you are and how you are seen by others. Understandably, it is an ongoing process. However, if children are taught from a young age about the concept of self-awareness and how they can inculcate it as a skill, they can grow up to be responsible and wholesome members of the society. If schools can successfully provide students tools to be self-aware they can see a visible change in their school environment because self-aware students will function differently than those who are not. Here is how.

Stay Productive

Self-aware students identify their strengths and weaknesses. This is the first step towards working on their weaknesses and using their strengths to learn better. Students who are not self-aware keep struggling with their weaknesses and do not leverage their strength. It is difficult for them to grasp the root cause of their problems, which may lead to behavioral and psychological problems.

While self-aware kids will help the school climate become more productive and learning-oriented, children who are not self-aware will become increasingly alienated from their surroundings. They tend to stay out of school, which can be a predecessor to all kinds of bad habits.

Nurture Empathy

Self-aware students develop empathy. They are aware of the emotions that people around them are experiencing and respectful of them. Such students build positive relationships with their class mates and their teachers. Positive relationships, in turn help develop a better environment at school – one that is welcoming of everyone and a fertile ground for learning.

Students who are not self-aware easily overlook the problems and issues others are facing. Hence, the relationships they form are usually of convenience. Such students are also more likely to be bullies. Lack of self-awareness leads to a school environment that is not conducive for diverse groups of students.

Communicate Effectively

Since self-aware students understand their emotions and those of others around them, it is easier for them to communicate. They naturally understand how to approach a conversation, how to convey their emotions, and how to ask for help. This leads them being wholesome members of their schools. They usually work well in teams, participate in extra-curricular activities, and more.

On the other hand, absence of self-awareness makes it extremely difficult for a child to communicate their emotions and feelings, let alone understanding somebody else. This may lead to serious distance from the society, loneliness, depression, and other related problems. Such a child will experience stunted growth.

Teaching Self-Awareness

Self-awareness can be taught as a part of the curriculum like everything else. Programs like SEL Adventures have an expertly created syllabus that provides teachers the tools to teach self-awareness. This will help students grow to their full potential and live a fulfilling life.

5 ways teachers promote SEL in their classroom

Improving student achievement through innovation is the ultimate goal in education, as well as the development of social and emotional skills in children and youngsters.  However, what matters the most, is not how much students know, but what they can do with what they know. Social and emotional learning (SEL) enhances students’ capacity to integrate skills, attitudes, and behaviors to deal effectively and ethically with daily tasks and challenges. What can teachers do to promote SEL outside and inside the classroom?

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SELF-AWARENESS 3 activities you can easily implement in classroom

Self-awareness is one of the greatest skills in life because it enables the persons to learn about themselves in a way no one else can ever teach them.  Center for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) defines self-awareness as “the ability to accurately recognize one’s emotions and thoughts and their influence on behavior. This includes accurately assessing one’s strengths and limitations and possessing a well-grounded sense of confidence and optimism”.

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