During their weekly Life Skills classes, the fifth-grade students have been learning what it means to be self aware. CASEL (The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning) identifies self awareness as a core competency and defines it as “the abilities to understand one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior across contexts.”
Through a series of interactive exercises, classroom discussions, independent and group work, students have reflected upon questions such as:
- “What makes me, me?”
- “What words might I use to describe myself?”
- “What are my strengths and weaknesses?”
- “What emotion(s) may I experience in a given situation, and where might that lead?”
- “How might the intensity of my feelings change, based on a situation or my experiences?”
Students have recognized that each person is one-of-a-kind, and that strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, and emotional experiences are unique to the individual. Students are also given the opportunity to learn from their peers and deepen their understanding of the experiences of others, thereby skill-building in the area of perspective-taking and strengthening their empathy, as well.