Recently, I discussed how teaching Personal Development in school could positively impact students’ lives for the future. Today, I want to take a step back and look at what a Personal Development class would teach. Although curriculum would likely vary by school, I suspect that many of these life lessons would be the basis of any Personal Development program.
Mental Health and Emotions
Personal Development is a great topic, and everyone should learn about it. However, it is hard to develop oneself if they are dealing with a mental illness or the hormone-induced mood swings of adolescence. Before diving into other topics, it is important to teach students how to understand their emotions, as well as how to positively express them. It would also teach students about mental illness and the differences between adolescent feelings and a chemical imbalance in the brain. If Personal Development courses are taught, I believe this would be a great place to start.
Honesty, integrity, and self-assuredness are three important traits every person should have. Having integrity means one tries to do the right thing, even when it is difficult. Self-assuredness (or confidence) allows everyone to make those tough decisions without relying on others. Honesty gives people the ability to own up to their mistakes, even if it may produce an undesirable outcome. Knowing how to develop these traits will ensure that students try to make the right decisions, or will be able to take full responsibility for their poor choices, without blaming others.
Many students struggle with self-esteem in one way or another. They may doubt their abilities or feel their looks are inferior to their peers’. A Personal Development class is a great place to allow students to build each other up by acknowledging their skills and abilities, rather than focusing on the negatives. It also gives students the opportunity to become comfortable in their own skin, rather than striving to become someone else. Not only would this make students feel better, it may also highlight some positive attributes they never knew they had. This would show everyone that their perception is only one one side of the story.
Professional and Personal Skills
Finally, a large part of a Personal Development class would focus on skills. Writing a resume, interviewing, and public speaking are a few professional skills that make sense to cover. Creating a budget and learning how to do your taxes would be beneficial personal skills to learn, too. Students around the world often complain about a lack of “Adult Skills” education, and a Personal Development class would ensure these students are ready to take on these concrete challenges.
Although a Personal Development class may not get through to everyone, many students would benefit from learning about becoming a better person and taking control of their lives. If every student could take away one lesson from a class like this, I believe the next generation would see a positive change.