Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a popular motivation theory that is widely referred to in educational circles. In this theory, Abraham Maslow suggested that before individuals meet their full potential, they need to satisfy a series of needs. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs provides a reminder and framework that our students are less likely to perform at their full potential if their basic needs are unmet.
Knowing that there are different areas of well-being helps us understand that “well-being” is dimensional. Each person strives for balanced well-being (physical, emotional, mental, academic, and social), but the reality is that our well-being needs change from day to day, and with each new circumstance and experience. Because of this constant change, we must be willing to make the efforts necessary to maintain well-being in each of the areas to create a happier, well-rounded, and balanced life.
My Hierarchy of Needs:
Invite students to share how they marked their self-assessment of needs. Review the “I AM WORKING ON IT” column and discuss what you can do as a parent to better support them in each area. Celebrate the areas where the needs are being met and celebrate what you are doing as a family to meet those needs.
Ask your student what ideas they came up with and have a conversation with them about what you could do as a family to help other family members, neighbors, or members of the community. Talk about what you could do to support the class in the projects they decided upon.
Have a conversation with your student about the last time they felt well and happy with life at home? Invite them to share what they thought about in terms of being well and happy at school? Have a discussion about how you can help them feel happy and well at home.
Help students understand well-being is not achieved by living a perfect life or having a perfect life. Instead we need balance. We need to invest in each aspect of well-being daily to stay balanced to attain overall well-being.
Invite students to brainstorm ideas for areas they feel are lacking. Encourage students to branch out and try something new in each of their areas.
Well-Being and The Bill of Rights:
Have a conversation with your student about your personal feelings about the Bill of Rights and specific rights that are more meaningful for you and your family.
Describe what you do to protect those rights in your own life and help your student begin to think about their own behaviors in relationship to protecting those rights for themselves and others. This conversation can be the beginning of helping your child understand what it means to be a citizen of the United States.
The discussion prompts above can be used to connect with your child. Choose the prompts that would be most meaningful based on the needs of your own child.
The following strategies were discussed in class. Have a discussion with your student to see how they can reflect on and implement some of these strategies into their own life.
Are there specific strategies that would be helpful for your child?
Is there an area they need extra support?
How do you implement these strategies in your own life?
What other strategies do you implement in your own life?
How have these strategies and others made your life more meaningful?
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