Self-motivation is an important skill for students of all ages to master. It’s important for students to reflect upon what motivates them to do their best. The challenge with self-motivation is to find exactly what triggers a person to become invested and interested in something enough to see it to completion. For some, motivation is more feeling-based; for others, more thinking-based. Whatever the trigger, when that trigger is found, there are few limits to what a person can achieve.
Anger is an emotion that all of us have to manage throughout our lives. Students get angry with their teachers, their friends and parents. It’s important for them to develop a self-awareness around their anger so that they can decide when getting angry, or remaining calm, is the right response to a situation which aggrieves them.
Many students don’t like rules, and that’s because rules often make students turn against their consciences and deny what they think is right. Yet obedience to rules is necessary for stability. Schools can’t function without people buying into the rules. The tension between obedience to authority and following one’s conscience is always present.
Honesty is a character trait to which most people aspire. With honesty comes trust and respect from others. Without it comes fear, suspicion and betrayal. Students face daily ethical choices over whether or not they should pursue the path of honesty.
Students know what it feels like to be hurt. When they are hurt, they have choices to make about how to treat the people who hurt them. These choices give them opportunities to demonstrate empathy and respect for others and to preserve relationships, or break them off. Forgiveness is a moral choice which strikes at the heart of ethical decision-making.
Responsibility is a scary word for students. It means that they should take ownership over their own thoughts and actions and not blame others for what happens. Sometimes, other people’s actions impact their lives and force them to consider what they should or should not do. Feelings of responsibility strike at the heart of ethical decision-making.
Students have very strong opinions about when to talk and when to remain silent. Sometimes, students speak out of nervousness. Other times, students speak because they have something they have to say to the world. Then there are other students who are shy and never want to talk, or who remain silent because they are afraid to look foolish.
Some students are dreamers who live comfortably thinking about a world not yet created. Then there are the ‘down to earth’ students who find comfort in facts. Often, these two groups clash during group projects when there’s a need for a clear vision of an end goal but then also a clear, step-by-step plan to get it done.
If there is one thing that’s hard to rely on when dealing with students, it’s impulse control. Students are at different levels of emotional maturity. Some are extremely cautious and tactful in the way that they deal with peers and adults. Others are born risk takers who want to “show off” their fearlessness and gather followers who want to be like them.