Success, students are told, comes from doing well in school, building friendships and finding the right career. The only problem is they aren’t told exactly how to find this success and whether actually loving what they do should even be a consideration. As a result, it’s important for students to develop a self-awareness around what success means to them and how they plan to get it.
One of the hardest skills to develop is the ability to see the world from different perspectives. This skill is especially difficult during crises like the Coronavirus where It’s It is during these hard times, however, that we have fresh opportunities to see differently in ways that can improve our mental health.
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.
Character development is at least as important as the development of academic skills. A strong character fuels self-discipline and self-motivation, both of which are important catalysts for success in life. But character development is hard work, especially when a person’s difficult life circumstances get in the way.
The Coronavirus outbreak of 2020 has driven society into isolation. Schools are closed. Businesses are shut down. Our social lives have stopped functioning. And we’re at home with much more alone time. Isolation can breed some sadness and despair but also offers a chance for us to reflect and evaluate our lives in a positive and meaningful way.
Sacrifice requires that we do things today that don’t have immediate benefits for ourselves; but help others instead. Students have generous hearts but, for the most part, are focused on their own successes and sometimes resist the moral obligation to sacrifice for others.
Every student knows a little something about enemies and conflict. They don’t get along with everybody and these inevitable conflicts force them to make choices about how to treat other people. These choices have real consequences as they impact their capacities to build and sustain friendships.
Life throws unexpected events at us which take us by surprise. When crisis happens, we feel out of control. We are left to react in the best ways we can to protect ourselves and improve our situations, but we often feel like our actions don’t matter in the face of an indifferent world.
When students interact with others, they have lots of moral decisions to make. It’s hard for them to decide exactly how to treat other people, especially strangers, since many times they don’t have much information to go on and so they must rely on their intuitive judgements and best guesses. How they decide to act reflects deeply upon their characters.
Many students assume they are just a number and don’t really matter in the world. They don’t think of themselves as role models with responsibilities to other people. Yet, like it or not, their behavior is being watched and they are having an influence on those around them in important, unseen ways. Becoming more aware of their impact makes students more compelled to act in ethical ways.