A few months after my oldest son was born, I felt confident and on top of the world. The months prior to his birth, I gradually added to my toolbox and researched everything from sleep training and homemade baby food to the language I would use when he played independently and interacted with others. I would let him make mistakes, but I would also use praise centered around the character traits I valued most. I was an assistant principal and similar to my school’s mission, I would teach my son to be self-motivated. I would teach my son to think critically. I would model for him the value in helping others. I would teach him the value and joy of lifelong learning. As a family, we will take him to art museums, restaurants, playdates, zoos, and parks.Read More
What's Happening in Character?
Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy, a K-5 public elementary school in historic Old Town Alexandria, Virginia today serves a diverse population with students coming from all socio-economic levels and countries of origin. Built in 1958 for African American students during the time of segregation, the building underwent a transformation in 2000 to attract other community members to the school. With the “traditional academy model” came a focus on strong academic achievement and the use of character education to set the moral compass for the students.Read More
Is it necessary to have core ethical values in place to create a caring work environment? When employers and employees exhibit genuine care for one another, they thrive and are able to produce successful results. We interviewed John Horan, a successful Real Estate Broker/Developer in North Central Florida who has owned and operated multiple businesses, to delve into why Principles 1 and 4 of the Eleven Principles are relevant to maintaining a successful work environment.
Sports, like golf, provide the opportunity for kids to gain exposure to core values and life lessons that that can help in competition, but also in everyday life.Read More
Since childhood, many of us have acquired the art of project management. From pursuing hobbies, to managing relatives and other things that comprise of basic learning, we have learned how to be project managers in one way or the other.Read More
The other day, I was walking home with my kids from school when a boy in my daughter’s class yelled, ”Goodbye” to her. I watched as her little frame looked at him, shrugged and turned away to keep walking. I was shocked. As we continued walking, I asked her why she didn’t wave or respond to the boy, but she just shrugged her shoulders. I don’t think she fully understood what she was doing or why, so I determined to help her have a clear understanding on how our actions affect others.Read More
There is perhaps no other professional subject spoken about more often in the press and in HR sessions than character in the workplace. Yet it is poorly understood in principle and in practice. The steady stream of stories featuring C-Suite deceit in the form of scandals and immoral management decisions takes a toll on those involved and erode the nobility of business itself.
Where and when then does the breakdown of character in the workplace occur?Read More
My first time going on a roller coaster was when I was 11 years old. It was a year after my sisters and I immigrated to the United States and we were excited to try as many “American” activities as possible. Going on a roller coaster ride was one of our top priorities. However, my 11 year old mind never considered the possibility of acrophobia (fear of heights) until I was buckled and strung tightly in the air. I am happy to say that after that experience, I have never gone on another roller coaster again and don’t plan on doing so any time in the near future.Read More
When I was a gymnastic teacher in my twenties at a gymnastics center, I used to instruct little girls on all sorts of tricks on the beam, bar and other gymnastics equipment. Gymnastics is not an easy sport to do. It is downright scary at times and takes courage to perform well. Just watch the Olympics on TV. So as one can imagine, overcoming fear was one of our focus at the gym. Often when I asked some young girls to spin on the beam, they usually answered with a stern no. Therefore I learned early as an instructor to immediately respond, “The word ‘can’t’ is not in the English dictionary.” As outlined in Principle 2 of the 11 Principles of Effective Character Education — in developing character to include “thinking” “feeling” and “doing” — I encouraged these young gymnasts to not only perceive but take actions that strengthened their character.Read More
Even though there are many ways to define character education, for the moment let’s assume that Wikipedia provides a reasonable starting point: “…an umbrella term loosely used to describe the teaching of children in a manner that will help them develop variously as moral, civic, good, mannered, behaved, non-bullying, healthy, critical, successful, traditional, compliant or socially acceptable beings.” While there is plenty in this definition to inspire healthy debate, my primary concern with it is this: it assumes character development only applies to human beings.Read More