What's Happening in Character?

Letting Life Get Messy: Lessons from Kindergarten

Posted by Phyllis L. Fagell on Thu, Mar 9, 2017 @ 09:03 AM

A year ago, an eighth grade student came into my counseling office looking stricken. Over the weekend, Lara’s parents had told her they were moving from Maryland to a country in South America. Her father’s global job had taken her to far-flung places before, but she hadn’t seen this move coming. “I thought I’d be going to high school with my friends,” she told me, “not starting all over again. I don’t even speak Spanish!”

I felt for her. Change is hard, especially when it’s foisted on you. I worked with Lara to identify any elements in her control, including her own attitude. She had lived everywhere from Germany to Texas, and we talked about how she had successfully navigated those transitions. We also identified a few positives, including the likelihood she would master a new language.

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Topics: character, integrity, Advisory

Student Perspectives: Creating Community through Activities & Sisterhood

Posted by Character.org Staff on Tue, Mar 8, 2016 @ 04:03 AM

 

In honor of International Women’s Day, we’re featuring the voices of two young women, Jasmine and Ndasia, current students at Early/Middle College at Bennett, a 2015 National School of Character. Early/Middle College at Bennett is an all female high school located in Greensboro, North Carolina.

by Ndasia Gerald, a student in the Class of 2017 at Middle College at Bennett

At a school where sisterhood is a part of the foundation, it is important to serve as your sister’s keeper.  I especially enjoy having the opportunity to get involved in different things at school that give me a chance to get to know my fellow Bennett sisters on more personal levels.

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Topics: Caring Community, Schools of Character, Advisory

Using Advisory Effectively: A Case Study

Posted by Sarah Novick on Mon, Aug 24, 2015 @ 08:08 AM

By Sarah Novick

Advisory can be a great vehicle to implement character education. 

I recently had the privilege of getting to know students, teachers, teacher-advisors, and administrators involved with revamping an advisory program at San Francisco University High School (SFUHS).

For about 20 years SFUHS had an advisory period in its schedule. When I got to know the school a few years ago, students described advisory “a chill out time,” “a time to eat really good snack,” and a place where they could “hang out with friends.” While this non-academic break during a busy Friday after a stressful week is useful, especially for high achieving, stressed-out students at a rigorous high school, administrators wanted to create the infrastructure to better support students’ character, social, and emotional development. In this post I want to take this opportunity to share some of my insights into their successes as they revised their program. 

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Topics: character education, Relationship Building, Caring Community, Advisory