The ability to work in a team is touted by teachers, employers and coaches as an indispensable skill. Alone, people can accomplish great things but when people work as a team the potential for success skyrockets. Students know this in theory but when it comes to accepting the reality of working with others who have different styles and motivations, all of a sudden teamwork feels like a heavy burden.
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.
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.
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.
Money, influence, friends and good grades– students think that more is better. The whole idea of cutting back on desire isn’t very attractive. Yet, we can’t have it all and so now and throughout life, students must make smart choices on what they want and how much.
Mark Twain famously quipped that death and taxes are the only things certain in life. We can probably add failure to that short list. Of all themes, failure is one to which students can relate most. There’s failure at home, at school and in the workplace. It is a constant. Students are taught to develop a growth mindset and learn from failure.
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.