It Starts With Us

I have been reading an interesting text, Fostering Resilient Learners: Strategies for Creating a Trauma-Sensitive Classroom by Kristin Souers with Pete Hall.  I opened the book expecting to discover strategies and insights into supporting students who have experienced trauma not to be challenged to develop a greater self-awareness.

What does my own self-awareness have to do with creating a stable, consistent and safe environment for our students?  I want to help students not myself.  As I read on it started to become clearer the important, if not vital, role self-awareness plays in helping our students to be more successful in school.

How often do we become so focused on our students’ needs that we neglect our own?  I see it on a daily basis – teachers being selfless.  Giving up breaks to help students, devoting energy and time to develop resources and focusing thoughts and emotions on their students.  As teachers, our main driver is to help others, so we believe if we invest time in our own self-awareness we will be unsuccessful in achieving this primary goal.

As Souers highlights:

“Self-awareness, self-acceptance and self-love seem to distract us from our calling to help others.  Yet this is actually a short-sighted view that, in the end, will hamper us in our efforts to help our students.”

If we invest in our own physical, emotional and spiritual health not only are we looking after ourselves but our students also.  This investment will ensure we are physically, emotionally and spiritually prepared to invest energy, time and emotion into creating a learning environment that is positive, stable, consistent and safe.

How do you promote self-awareness in your school or workplace?



2 thoughts on “It Starts With Us”

  1. Interesting question. You’ve provoked thinking about self-awareness just by asking it. Is self love self respect? In respecting one’s self, one is true to one’s values. I do my job because I believe what I do is worthy and positive. It’s my vocation. Therefore, I act in that way. My school motto was Virtute Non Verbis and to this day it means everything to me. I judge myself according to that motto. Because I am constantly trying to improve, I reflect daily on my thoughts and actions and that reflection is what leads to self awareness. If my actions provoke some growing level of self-awareness in others, then I have hopefully helped someone. Part of developing self-awareness is being aware of the affect I have on other people. That’s not seeking to be everyone’s friend. That’s just being aware. That “awareness” incorporates understanding.


    1. Thank you for the reflection and comments regarding self-awareness. It is interesting that you raised being true to one’s values and the motto that captures that. In the book, the authors talk about the importance of having a personal mission statement or “concrete boots” as they describe them. Values and ideals that you can always refer to when questioning the “why” or when pressured.


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