Female high school student with brunette hair in a ponytail and wearing a striped shirt gestures with her left hand as she tells something to a female teacher with black-framed glasses and short brunette hair.

Student Self-Awareness & Self-Knowledge: Ask the Right Questions to Understand Your Students

What every student should know starts with themselves and moves outwards to your content area: self-knowledge ➝ content knowledge.

– Terry Heick


Ask students essential questions like the great examples in the provided article resource.

Here are 10 examples (there are 20 more in the article!):

  1. What do you need from me (as your teacher) more than anything else?
  2. When was the last time you’ve solved a problem?
  3. What does success in the classroom mean to you? How would you define it?
  4. Where (or ‘who’) do you want to ‘be’ in ten years? Next year? This time next week?
  5. What do teachers sometimes misunderstand about you as a learner?
  6. What does it mean to ‘study’?
  7. Do you think of yourself as ‘smart’? (What does ‘smart’ mean?)
  8. How do you respond to complex texts, media, tasks, projects, etc.? Is it different than how you respond to complexity in the ‘real world’?
  9. What should school ‘do’?
  10. If I get out of your way this year, what will you be able to do?

Suggested strategies for this activity (there are more in the article!):

  1. Give to small groups to answer questions
  2. Let students choose the question(s) they want to answer
  3. Assign specific questions as a blog post or journal prompt

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