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Sunday, 9 February 2014

Thinking Teen - The Most Important Question to Ask Oneself

Value-searching steps - 1. Ask
Let's take a break from study and focus on what matters the most - you. As a teen, I'm sure you have lots of things in mind, especially about your identity & role as a human being. You yearn to enliven your life to the fullest instead of just day-to-day surviving. Thus, one question can be asked about yourself to tackle this issue:

"What is my value?"

You've seen your friend very good at sports & are cherished by others. That's his/her value. The values could be adept in public talk (debat), knowledgable about current issues, making jokes, or computer genius. Being good at playing musical instrument is also a great value. Some of my students are very good in photography or drawing manga. One student showed me some cool martial art moves because he idolizes Bruce Lee. For me, I was good in drawings. I still remember that I gained respect among my friends because I drew pictures they requested.
2. List down your preferences
You might think that by acting 'cool', being troublemakers, wearing revealing outfits, money, rich parents, fancy cars, branded clothes, or just being cute would be categorized as values. Wrong. Here are the 4 prominent features of values:

1. Values are something intrinsic (in you) that makes you unique & special
2. Values are something that benefit BOTH you and others.
3. Values are deeply meaningful to you (they move you & give you sense of direction in life).
4. Best values are something that you work at instead of something you are born with.

The greatest benefit of having values is they boost your self-esteem. Professional teachers know that students having a good self-esteem is crucial as the main vehicle for them to drive their daily teen lives. That's why the main outcome of teaching is to increase the students self-confident. The teaching itself is an act of providing knowledge, which is a great value to students. You might learnt the best learning techniques. You might learnt interesting topics in schools.

But, if the students' overall self-esteem remains low, something is dead wrong with the education received.

In fact, most of developed countries such as Japan & Singapore, state that the most desired outcome in education is to produce confident learners. How about us here in Malaysia? 

That's why for adults, the best thing we can do is to encourage the students to get their own values. One mistake the adults do is assuming that studying is the only value for the students. We should understand that teenagers are individuals with own preferences and own values. Hence, praise them for their effort in not just in study, but also sports and hobbies. Provide them with necessary financial & emotional support. 

As for you guys, ask yourselves - what is your value?
3. Decide


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