Helping students find self-identity

Jun 1 / Tamara Irving
Everyone develops their identity at a young age but developing a personal identity isn't always easy. Some students may struggle with finding out who they really are and what matters to them as a person. Once students get into middle school, they want to fit in; they may not want to express their true identity. And as they grow into high schoolers they will soon realize that school has a huge impact on their development of their identity. As teachers, we have a role in helping our students discover their identity. Simply watching how they interact with certain topics and how they respond in certain situations are key factors in their identity development.

Here are a few lesson ideas that might help a student in finding their self identity.

  • Have your student sit in a circle and spark a discussion on a popular topic to them. Some of their responses to those questions might help you to learn about their opinions. You can go deeper by asking them to elaborate on a particular statement. You can also identify those that might collapse under peer pressure when discussing certain topics.


  • Allow your students to research a career that they're interested in but instead of just giving the facts about the career, extend the assignment to identify qualities within themselves that would align with the skill sets of the career.

  • Create a social media assignment where students have to introduce themselves digitally in 250 characters or less. They don't necessarily have to do it online, they can write it out on an index card. Writing about themselves with limited characters creates an opportunity for them to express how unique they are and if anybody wants to be their friend. Help your students to present themselves in the best possible way.

These are just a few ways that you can help your students discover their self-identity. Guide them in ways where they can become self-aware and positively discover their self-image by providing creative lessons and opportunities.

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