Students in Mrs. Misnerís Interpersonal Relationships course at WRV hold up the representational masks they created.
Students enrolled in Interpersonal Relationships at White River Valley have spent the first few weeks of this semester learning more about themselves.
This foundational course gives students the opportunity to build new understands, learn life skills and lay the groundwork for their future family, career and community lives. Interpersonal Relationships is all about coming to understandings about the self, building healthy relationships, communicating effectively and resolving conflicts and exploring personal interests. All of these topics help students to become better leaders and team members.
The first unit of study is a self examination, so students have done projects and had discussions about themselves, their stages of life, their values, standards and behaviors and how they view themselves.
Students had the opportunity to look into their past and think about how their lives have changed. They read articles about the conflicts and milestones people experience in each of the life stages. Students drew pictures to really think about the experiences of their past and how they impact them today.
We discussed how they were in the middle of their adolescent stage and what they hope to accomplish during the rest of this stage. Then they talked about their fears and aspirations for the next stage of life: young adulthood. Our past, present and future are intricately linked and spending time thinking about them brings clarity.
“As things happened throughout my life I did not realize how events would impact my future,” said Triston Kirkoff. “Looking back helped me realize how much people change through their life stages. Times don’t change, people change.”
What do you need? What do you want? The class answered questions like these and more to reflect on their own needs and wants, how these needs are individual and how to deal when someone’s wants conflicts with another’s needs.
Abraham Maslow proposed the Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow states that people must meet their physiological (food, water, sleep), safety (shelter), love/belonging (family, friends) and esteem (positive/ individual) needs before they can reach self-actualization (reaching one’s full potential).
Students went on to consider their wants, needs, values, standards and behaviors. We watched a TED Talk focused on raising standards, completed a value clarification exercise and then created a mind map.
“Standards are like guidelines,” said Lilly Wilder. “And while completing the standards, values and behavior mind map, I got to think about my characteristics and my standards for others and how they treat me.”
This week we have been focusing on being true to ourselves. We began by reading a poem about masks people wear and reflecting on ideas in the poem as well as other famous quotes. Students got to think about how they can be true to themselves as they created masks.
“Completing the mask made me realize how I want others to view my life,” commented Kennedi Deckard.
All of these discussions and activities help each of us to better understand the person we are and the person we hope to become. This self-reflection will make us better people, family members, friends and coworkers. I enjoy this FACS foundational course and recognize these interpersonal skills impact students positively in all the roles they fill.
Betsy Misner has been the Family and Consumer Science, formerly Home Economics, teacher at White River Valley for over a decade. Her motivation is helping students to strive for strong, happy, healthy families and providing career pathways. Check out more of what is happening in the classroom by following her on Twitter: WRVFACS@BetsyMisner