Author: Antoinette Morris
Posted: 04 Sep 2023
Estimated time to read: 3 mins
Read this blog for a quick overview of the CASEL competency 'Self Awareness' and the impact it has on student academic outcomes, wellbeing and behaviour management.
Self awareness is a fundamental skill that lays the foundation for social and emotional growth. As part of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) framework, developing self awareness empowers students to recognise and understand their emotions, strengths and areas for growth. In this blog post, we will delve into the significance of self awareness and explore strategies for nurturing emotional intelligence in students. Perfect for getting to know your students as we go into the new school year!
The importance of self awareness
Self awareness enables students to recognise and understand their emotions, thoughts and behaviours. It enhances their ability to self-regulate and make responsible decisions. By developing self awareness, students gain insight into their strengths, challenges, and personal values, fostering a positive sense of identity and boosting self-confidence. In other words, they behave better, do better and feel better.
Cultivating emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence plays a vital role in self awareness. Educators can facilitate the development of emotional intelligence by teaching students to identify and label their emotions accurately. This is most effectively achieved by implementing a dedicated SEL program, or generally incorporating SEL practices into your everyday teaching.
Encourage students to express their feelings constructively and provide a safe space for open dialogue. Engage in activities that promote self-reflection, such as journaling or mindfulness exercises, to deepen students' understanding of their emotions.
Want to learn more about SEL? Check out this free SEL resource.
Enhancing self-reflection skills
Help students develop self-reflection skills by providing structured opportunities for introspection. Encourage them to assess their strengths, weaknesses and areas for growth. Regularly collecting feedback from students through surveys is a great way to get started with this, as well as giving you great data on community sentiment.
It's also beneficial to give your students dedicated time to set clear goals for the long and short term, checking back on those goals regularly to adjust and reflect.
Promoting a growth mindset
Nurture a growth mindset in students by emphasising that abilities and intelligence can be developed through effort and perseverance. Encourage students to embrace challenges, view mistakes as learning opportunities and adopt a positive attitude towards setbacks.
Remember, the biggest influence on the attitudes in your classroom is you! Lead by example with a positive attitude and watch your students start to follow. This can be especially challenging in those busy first few months of term when you're feeling stressed and overwhelmed, but starting the year on the right foot with your students can help alleviate a lot of that stress down the line.
Fostering empathy and looking at things with perspective
Empathy is an essential aspect of self awareness. Encourage students to consider how their actions and words impact others, cultivating a sense of compassion and connection. It can be helpful to externally process how your own actions influence others as it sets a good example for students about how they should be thinking when they make decisions. Thinking out loud really is one of your greatest tools as a teacher!
Students with higher levels of empathy will treat both adults and their peers better, as well as misbehaving less because they understand more about how their actions affect others.
Learn more about the effects of negative behaviour here.
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