Well-being Is up to Me: Why Self-management Matters

Self-management is a critical skill not only used to decrease disruptive behaviors in the classroom but to empower children to expect more from themselves on their own terms. It is a transformative tool for children that teaches them self-motivation, self-reliance, and the independence needed to know their well-being is in their control. This week, demonstrate to students how self-management can impact every area of their lives and well-being.

Elementary Lesson

Show students the following video on “Self-management.”


1. Ask students, in popcorn style, to name three things they can do if they're having a difficult time completing a goal or dealing with a task. 

2. Have students write that list down and keep it in a place where they can see it and refer back to it.  

3. Have students complete the Self-management Worksheet to examine behaviors or traits they are good at, things they’d like to improve, and the steps they’ll take to get there.

4. Break students into small groups of 3-4 to share one thing they will do to improve on behavior and manage themselves better.

Secondary Lesson

Show students the following video on “Self-management.”


1. Facilitate a group discussion, answering the following questions from the video:

  • Why do you think Janet is having difficulty managing her time? 
  • What tips would you share with Janet to manage her time better?
  • What might happen if she does not learn to manage her time? 

2. Share with students the core components of self-management:

  • Goal setting: Ask students what areas of life can goals be accomplished in? Potential answers are family, friends, school, career, etc. 
  • Observing Your behaviors: You can pay attention to the things that are difficult for you to achieve and the things that come easy to you. Keep track of it to increase your sense of self-awareness and set goals on what you need to improve. 
  • Self-reinforcement / Rewarding: You are more likely to work towards completing goals or tasks if you are rewarded. What type of reward would you like to receive? 
  • Self-evaluation: Reflection on the process is what teaches you the most. What do you think can be the most challenging part of accomplishing a goal? What can you look to for inspiration?

3. Ask students to identify just ONE person who fits their definition of having “good self-management” and then challenge them to identify the characteristics they would like to implement in their own plan for success.

Teacher Tips

In school, academics often take priority over a student's focus for goal setting and productivity. However, with healthy self-management skills in place, every aspect of a student’s life and well-being can be impacted. Please encourage students to practice using checklists to accomplish their tasks and provide rewards when you notice they’ve completed a checklist for the day. You can also provide students with time management logs to learn the value of discipline and focus on a specific task and learn to monitor when they are being off task. Through successes and failures in self-management, students will learn the power of resilience and that if they keep trying and remain consistent, they can succeed. Incorporating checklists and time management logs in the classroom is a great way to do that. Check out this Instructional Educator's Guide on teaching time management in your classroom.