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.
Goal-setting is thought to be a skill of highly successful people. Some students are really good at it. They map out their life events with certain outcomes in mind. Other students just want to ‘go with the flow’ and goal-setting makes them nervous and unfulfilled. The value of goal-setting is in dispute and, therefore, students must decide for themselves how they want to integrate it into their life activities.
An ambitious person is confident and self-motivated, both of which are qualities we want to see in our students. But ambition sometimes gets us into trouble. We have to compete with others over scarce resources and that causes us to be selfish and uncompromising. There are other people in the world and we have an ethical obligation to think about their needs as well.
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.
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.
We experience life with other people. This is true in our families, schools and workplaces. We are taught the importance of being individuals and being responsible for our own actions, yet many of our life experiences involve others and our successes and failures are determined by how well we are able to work with other people.
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 understand the dynamics of leadership firsthand, both from the perspective of being a follower of their teachers and being role models for their peers. They have strong opinions about how leaders should behave and what ethical responsibilities they should have to others. It’s important to give students space to reflect upon the qualities of good leadership.
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.
Students are no strangers to power. They have parents, coaches and teachers exerting power over them and telling them what to do. Students slowly develop a moral sensibility towards authority figures and are quick to point out when they feel power is being used in negative and positive ways.
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.
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.