Personal Awareness & Responsibility

Personal Awareness and Responsibility involves understanding the connections between personal and social behaviour and well-being; it encourages people to make constructive and ethical decisions and act on them.

People who are personally aware and responsible demonstrate self-respect, persevere in difficult situations, and exercise responsibility. They understand that there are consequences for their decisions and actions. A personally aware and responsible individual takes steps to ensure their well-being, sets goals and monitors progress, regulates emotions and manages stress, and recognizes and advocates for their own rights.


Students who are personally aware and responsible have a sense of self-worth and a growing confidence in a variety of situations. They value themselves, their ideas, and their accomplishments. They are able to express their needs and seek help when needed, find purpose and motivation, act on decisions, and advocate for themselves.


Students who are personally aware and responsible take ownership of their choices and actions. They set goals, monitor progress, and understand their emotions, using that understanding to regulate actions and reactions. They are aware that learning involves patience and time. They can persevere in difficult situations, and to understand how their actions affect themselves and others.


Students who are personally aware and responsible recognize the factors that affect their holistic wellness and take increasing responsibility for caring for themselves. They keep themselves healthy and stay active, manage stress, and express a sense of personal well-being. They make choices that contribute to their safety in their communities, including their online communities and use of social media. They recognize their personal responsibility for their happiness and have strategies that help them find peace in challenging situations.



I can show a sense of accomplishment and joy, and express some wants, needs, and preferences. I can sometimes recognize my emotions.


I can initiate actions that bring me joy and satisfaction and recognize that I play a role in my well-being.

I can seek out experiences that make me feel happy and proud. I can express my wants and needs and celebrate my efforts and accomplishments. I have some strategies that help me recognize and manage my feelings and emotions. I recognize and can explain my role in learning activities and explorations, and I can give some evidence of my learning. I can describe how some specific choices can affect my well-being and participate in activities that support my well-being.


I can make choices that help me meet my wants and needs and increase my feelings of well-being. I take responsibility for my actions.

I can take action toward meeting my own wants and needs and finding joy and satisfaction, and work toward a goal or solving a problem. I can use strategies that increase my feeling of well-being and help me manage my feelings and emotions. I can connect my actions with both positive and negative consequences and try to make adjustments; I accept feedback. I make decisions about my activities and take some responsibility for my physical and emotional well-being.


I can recognize my strengths and take responsibility for using strategies to focus, manage stress, and accomplish my goals. 

I  advocate for myself and my ideas; I accept myself. I am willing to engage with ideas or information that is challenging for me. I can be focused and determined. I can set realistic goals, use strategies to accomplish them, and persevere with challenging tasks. I can tell when I am becoming angry, upset, or frustrated, and I have strategies to calm myself. I can make choices that benefit my well-being and keep me safe in the communities I belong to.


I recognize my value and advocate for my rights. I take responsibility for my choices, my actions, and my achievements.

I have valuable ideas to share. I am willing to explore controversial issues, and I can imagine and work toward change in myself and in the world. I can set priorities; implement, monitor, and adjust a plan; and assess the results. I take responsibility for my learning, seeking help as I need it. I use strategies for working toward a healthy and balanced lifestyle, for dealing with emotional challenges, and for finding peace in stressful times. I know how to find the social support I need.


I can identify my strengths and limits, find internal motivation, and act on opportunities for self-growth. I take responsibility for making ethical decisions.

I am aware of my personal journey and reflect on my experiences as a way of enhancing my well-being and dealing with challenges. I can advocate for myself in stressful situations. I can take the initiative to inform myself about controversial issues and take ethical positions. I take ownership of my goals, learning, and behaviour. I act on what is best, over time, in terms of my goals and aspirations. I recognize the implications of my choices and consult with others who may be affected by my decisions. I can identify my potential as a leader in the communities I belong to. I sustain a healthy and balanced lifestyle.


The Core Competencies relate to each other and with every aspect of learning.

Connections among Core Competencies

The Core Competencies are interrelated and interdependent. Taken together, the competencies are foundational to every aspect of learning. Personal Awareness and Responsibility is intertwined with all the other Core Competencies.

Personal and Social

Personal Awareness and Responsibility is one of the Personal and Social Core Competency’s three interrelated sub-competencies, Personal Awareness and Responsibility, Positive Personal and Cultural Identity, and Social Awareness and Responsibility.

Personal Awareness and Responsibility overlaps with the other two Personal and Social sub-competencies. For example:

  • Students identify their personal strengths and abilities to self-advocate effectively.
  • Students increase their well-being by recognizing their personal values and choices.


Personal Awareness and Responsibility is closely related to the two Communication sub-competencies, Communicating and Collaborating. For example:

  • As students develop and refine their communication competence, they become increasingly confident and able to participate effectively and advocate for themselves in a variety of situations.
  • As students collaborate, they commit to needed roles and responsibilities, and are conscientious about contributing and creating space for marginalized voices.


Personal Awareness and Responsibility is closely related to the two Thinking sub-competencies, Creative Thinking and Critical and Reflective Thinking. For example:

  • Students demonstrate their competence as creative thinkers when they generate ideas about ways to increase their wellbeing, personal agency, or progress toward their goals.
  • Reflection is a key part of all aspects of developing goals and monitoring and assessing progress toward them.


Connections with areas of learning

Personal Awareness and Responsibility is embedded within the curricular competencies of the concept-based, competency-driven curriculum. Curricular competencies are focused on the “doing” within the area of learning and include skills, processes, and habits of mind required by the discipline. For example, the Personal Awareness and Responsibility sub-competency can be seen in the following Big Ideas in Physical and Health Education:

  • Good health comprises physical, mental, and emotional well-being. (PHE K-1)
  • Understanding ourselves and the various aspects of health helps us to develop a balanced lifestyle. (PHE 4-5)
  • Healthy choices influence, and are influenced by, our physical, emotional, and mental well-being. (PHE 10)
  • Physical activity is an important part of overall health and well-being. (Active Living 11)

Learning to Be Brave on the Playground

With the support of a friend, a student develops pride and confidence in her ability to deal with new experiences.


Narrative Essay

A student writes an essay in response to the prompt “How We Know Who We Are”.



A student reflects on the personal experiences that have changed his goals and aspirations.


Waiting Is Not Easy

Students reflect on times when they had to wait and the strategies they used to keep calm and patient.


Student Responds to Being Denied a Job

A student responds to not being hired because she is from an alternate school.


Checking Blood Glucose Level

A student takes responsibility for monitoring her health.


Balancing Homework, Hobbies, and Family Responsibilities

A student speaks with his teacher about making choices related to their responsibilities and personal preferences.


Creating a Whirligig

A student creates a whirligig to demonstrate his personal journey.


Using Poetry as a Medium for Personal Awareness

A student creates a poem to show her growth in personal awareness.


Portfolio Review and Reflection

During a portfolio review, students reflect on their writing, set goals, and create a plan for moving forward.


Asking for Math Help

A student approaches a teacher with her concerns about her progress in math.


Showing Love

A student shows pride in her artwork after creating a heart to show love.


The Importance of Running

A young student explains how running gives him energy.


Rewriting Our Negative Stories (Part One of Three)

Students respond to a presentation by Alvin Law and reflect on how they can rewrite their own negative stories. There are three related illustrations; each one has a different student work sample and profile analysis.


Rewriting Our Negative Stories (Part Two of Three)

Students respond to a presentation by Alvin Law and reflect on how they can rewrite their own negative stories. There are three related illustrations; each one has a different student work sample and profile analysis.


Rewriting Our Negative Stories (Part Three of Three)

Students respond to a presentation by Alvin Law and reflect on how they can rewrite their own negative stories. There are three related illustrations; each one has a different student work sample and profile analysis.


Developing Positive Friendships

After reflecting on aspects of their friendship, four students change their behavior to develop healthier, more positive friendships.


Kind Words and Acts

A student learns how it feels to be kind and understands that making others feel good makes her feel good too.


The Danger of a Single Story: Ted Talk

A student responds to a Ted Talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie about the danger of a single story.


Addressing Climate Change Through a WE Wellbeing project

Students design community service projects related to climate change as part of a WE Wellbeing project.


Making a Book for Younger Children

A child creates a new book that will be suitable for “babies.”


Offering Peer Assistance

A student discusses how she supports her peers’ social emotional well-being.


Interviewing an Older Adult

Students were asked to interview an “older adult from the community” and this student chose to interview a long-time neighbour.


Nature Walks

A child initiates conversations and activities while on nature walks in his community.


Final Exam Video Reflection

A student completes a comprehensive reflection of their learning experiences as a final exam in a STEM program.


Cleaning Up the School Grounds

A student chooses to clean up the leaves at the classroom entrance during free time.


Poems about Perseverance

Students explore famous poems about perseverance and then create original free verse poems reflecting on their own struggles and perseverance.


A Joyful Dance

A child shares his special dance with other children and adults on his birthday.