Our Assistant Superintendent has asked us to reflect on Self-Awareness this week. She has shared the following article: Self Awareness (Social Emotional Learning) and asked us to focus in on the section titled, "When to Teach Self-Awareness". This section of the article reports that teachers must attend to their own self-awareness before teaching self-awareness in the classroom. I pride myself on being a reflective educator. I think that 140 blog posts are decent evidence that I value self-reflection.
Nonetheless, I'm wondering about my own self-awareness. I can certainly identify emotions. But what I'm wondering about is whether or not my self-perception is based in reality. I am very open to feedback. I wish I received more critical feedback to be honest. I have been told that I intimidate people. This is not a compliment. I think of people who intimidate as being people who are arrogant and lack empathy. Unfortunately, when I've received this feedback, it didn't come from a person who was invested in my growth. I do have a few mentors. None are people I confer with on a regular basis though. One of my mentors has told me that he feels that my commitment, work ethic, and positive experiences, can cause some people to feel threatened by me. This feedback did come from a place of care. Yet, I don't know what to do with that information. I do work hard. My whole team does. We take our very important work quite seriously. I don't think I can do anything about others feeling threatened by me or my team. I'll think about this more though.
I do have a very good understanding of my strengths. I'm painfully aware of my weaknesses. I compensate for those weaknesses the best I can. Regardless of my weaknesses, I possess self-confidence. However, I do struggle with esteem when it comes to certain skills or knowledge. I am committed to constant self-improvement. When I set a goal, it is usually because achieving it is very important to me. I will do what it takes to achieve the goals I set for myself. I believe in my own ability to set and achieve lofty goals. I feel like I am well-equipped to teach students self-awareness.
I am currently doing two really important things to teach self-awareness. The first thing I do is check in with students and ask them to reflect on how their year is going. At times, these are verbal reflections. Oftentimes, I ask the students to reflect through writing. The second thing I do is help students to lead their own conferences. Preparation for these conferences does a lot to raise students' self-awareness.
I've shared it before, but do check out the student-preparation sheet used to help students prepare to lead their own conferences.