If you haven’t participated in a twitter chat, it’s a must! I have done two this week and am starting to admit that I am becoming addicted. It is great to connect to other educators and hear about the amazing things that are happening in schools all around the world.
On Monday, I participated in the #cdnedchat which focused this week on character education, one of my passions! We started with defining character education, offered opinions on what it means to us and what it looks like in our school, and shared resources. Here is some of the chat, and the great things that are happening across the country:
I think the major points that I valued from this conversation were:
1) Character education MUST be woven into everything you do. Although some concepts should be explicitly taught, issues constantly come up that allow for discussion to happen. Embrace those times, don’t ignore them.
2) Teachers need to model what character education looks like. It’s one thing to preach it, but if you aren’t acting on it, then what’s the point? Children are more observant then you would know.
3) Develop a school community where all members are involved and can continue to help and develop character within your students. This includes teachers, administrators, board members, parents, and families. Everyone should be a part of the process.
This year, our school has been working with the program, Rachel’s Challenge. Instead of focusing on anti-bullying it embraces pro-kindness. Student’s journal, set goals, and reflect upon the acts of kindness that they observe. It takes the focus away from themselves, and instead gets them to look at the world around them. When they see someone performing a kind act, they write it on a link, and then give it to that person. We been attaching our links together, within our classroom and school, to show that one small act of kindness can create a chain reaction. It has been incredible to observe the differences in our students and school atmosphere.
Here are some other great things that I learned educators from around our country are participating in:
Project Thank You
Turning Points – Literacy Program
Me to We, and We Day
Roots of Empathy
Classroom Meetings/Character Circles
Family Game Nights
I’ll leave you with one of my favourite character quotes, and always think about this: How do you want to be remembered?