ResilientKids™ Teacher Guide

Self-Awareness

This section defines the key concepts covered in this chapter. These are the central themes upon which the activities are based.

♦ SELF-KNOWLEDGE

This concept includes identifying feelings and emotions, discovering self-perception, recognizing strengths and building a sense of self-confidence and self-efficacy. Teachable in an age-appropriate way, these skills provide context for and a deeper understanding of self-awareness.

♦ SELF-CONFIDENCE

Believing in our own self-worth makes us less reliant on others’ views for our own valuation. People with self-confidence have an intrinsic motivation for learning and growth. They are more successful, able to present themselves well, and possess the courage to stand out from the crowd and make decisions true to their values. Self-confidence increases with introspection.

♦ SELF-COMPASSION

Dr. Kristin Neff, an expert on self-compassion, defines this concept as simply treating yourself as kindly as you would a close friend when they’re having a hard time. This helps us to recognize that we are all part of the same human experience and we all have shortcomings and will fail at times. In this chapter, we incorporate self-compassion as the first step of heartfulness, when our heart is full of the present, as we build awareness of how we talk to ourselves.   

This section offers direction as to where the program is headed in this chapter and some notes about things to look for in your students as you answer the reflection questions at the end of Chapter 2.

♦ PRACTICE USING ANCHORS

As described in Chapter 1, this is called a ‘practice’ for a reason. Continued lessons utilizing the various anchors will build a level of familiarity into this work, which is often new for students. In focusing on self-awareness, generally students will gravitate to one of the primary anchors as most comfortable by the end of this chapter.

♦ INCREASE AWARENESS

With a goal of increasing self-awareness, we first have to build the capacity of awareness. Practicing mindfulness increases awareness, and many of the lessons in this chapter further cultivate this skill. By harnessing an innate curiosity to investigate what is happening around us, we can then shift that focus to oneself, the theme of this chapter.

♦ IDENTIFY AND NAME EMOTIONS

Building on self-awareness, we help students put a vocabulary to their feelings and emotions. As Dr. Dan Siegel says, “Name it to tame it!” This concept helps students build a vocabulary for feelings and emotions so that they can identify what they are feeling in certain moments rather than being run over by it. This empowering act comes with maturity and with increased awareness, a focus in Chapter 2.

♦ RECOGNIZE INNER VOICE

We all have an inner voice. Sometimes it is loud and clearly recognizable; other times it is quieter and harder to identify. Activities in this chapter work toward developing a clearer picture of the thoughts we think and teach us to find a little space for perspective. Because we tend to identify with our thoughts, this extra space can be helpful when attempting to discover whether or not they are true.

♦ DEVELOP ACCURATE SELF-PERCEPTION

Self-awareness can help students know themselves better. When we are able to slow down or insert a pause between stimulus and response, we can see a bigger picture that will grow and develop over time. Modeling various check-in questions by saying out loud “When could you ask yourself how you are feeling?” or, “I notice that I am mad right now. I wonder where that is coming from?” or, “What can I do when I start to notice that I am feeling frustrated?” can help remind students how to develop this introspective ability. 

The questions on the Chapter 2 Teacher Reflection Form are listed below so you can keep them in the back of your mind as you progress through the chapter.

1. Do students have an awareness of thier inner voice?

A. If yes, please share an anecdote about this.

B. If no, what was missing or prevented this from happening?

2. Have students developed a comfort with their use of anchors?

A. If yes, please share an anecdote about this.

B. If no, what was missing or prevented this from happening?

3. Are students developing a vocabulary to identify emotions?

A. If yes, how have you seen this demonstrated?

B. If no, what was missing or prevented this development?

4. Do students have a beginning understanding of how their brain works?

A. If yes, when have you seen this demonstrated by your students?

B. If no, what was missing or prevented them from developing an understanding of how their brain works?

5. Do students display self-confidence?

A. If yes, how have you seen this demonstrated by your students?

B. If no, why do you feel your students are not self-confident?

6. Is there anything additional you would like to share with us?

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