The Power of Perseverance: Character, Health and Fitness

This blog was written from my perspective as a Personal Fitness Trainer and a lifelong exerciser.  It provides very helpful and easy-to-understand tips on losing weight and getting into better shape.  My goal is to help those who struggle in one or both areas.  All of the information comes from a longer paper on the … Continue reading “The Power of Perseverance: Character, Health and Fitness”

Reducing School Violence by Teaching Empathy

By Ed DeRoche“If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far. ” –  Professor Daniel Goleman Over the … Continue reading “Reducing School Violence by Teaching Empathy”

How can we create more just and democratic schools?

In Marvin Berkowitz’s Hot Topic discussion this afternoon, he didn’t hesitate to cut right to the point. “We need to make schools less like prisons,” he said. “When you think about it, it’s disconcerting how much the analogy fits. How can we create more enlightened and just schools?” Marvin’s talk focused on utilizing empowerment and … Continue reading “How can we create more just and democratic schools?”

When Is It Okay to Reward Children for Doing the Right Thing?

CEP asked the experts when it would be appropriate to reward children in our latest National Schools of Character publication. Here’s what David Hulac, Marvin Berkowitz, and Russ Sojourner had to say:

From Classroom Rules to Class Promises—How Core Values Set the Foundation

My last year as a classroom teacher, I finally got it! Making a list of rules, even if they were written in a positive way, was not the way to start the year off right. At the kindergarten parent meeting, which was held the day before school started, I read the book Inch and Miles … Continue reading “From Classroom Rules to Class Promises—How Core Values Set the Foundation”

Character and the Economy: Why Do Performance Values Matter?

On July 3rd, the eve of Independence Day, the White House hosted a meeting on citizen-based innovation. The main charge of the meeting was to answer the question, “Where do we go from here?” at a time when the country is struggling economically. Each panel and discussion focused on how we can leverage social innovation … Continue reading “Character and the Economy: Why Do Performance Values Matter?”

Solutionary Education Reform

Education is in the news these days, with feature-length documentaries such as “Waiting for Superman” and “Bully” at theaters alongside “Toy Story III” and “The Avengers.” Tom Friedman at The New York Timescalls the education beat the most exciting one of our time for journalists. Never in my lifetime has education been such a hot topic. … Continue reading “Solutionary Education Reform”

Preventing Academic Dishonesty Part 2: What Teachers Can Do

From a teacher’s perspective, cheating is both a major hassle and a serious disappointment. When students cheat, teachers must bother first with catching the cheating and then with dispensing punishment. They’ll also have to deal with feelings of disappointment in students they’d trusted as they know cheating is a demonstration of the student’s failure to … Continue reading “Preventing Academic Dishonesty Part 2: What Teachers Can Do”

Recent Scandals Highlight Need for Role Models

When I was growing up, I heard adults say: “Do as I say, not as I do.”  After spending the last decade as a public school superintendent, it didn’t take me long to realize that the kids of this millennium don’t have much use for that approach. Instead, they prefer role models whom they can … Continue reading “Recent Scandals Highlight Need for Role Models”

5 Steps to Boost Reliability and Responsibility in Children

Parenting advice to curb irresponsibility, excuses and “blame games” and boost trustworthiness, accountability and kid responsibility Any of these sound familiar? “I forgot.” “Take care of this for me.” “It wasn’t my fault.” “I did some of it, but I left it on the bus.” “I don’t know where I put it.” They are statements … Continue reading “5 Steps to Boost Reliability and Responsibility in Children”

RAGBRAI and Core Values

Last week my brother and sister completed RAGBRAI—the bicycle ride across Iowa. From the starting point in Sioux City to the end point in Dubuque, they rode 480 miles over the course of the week. They both came home tired but euphoric. They’d had a wonderful time.My sister couldn’t stop talking about how friendly everyone … Continue reading “RAGBRAI and Core Values”

A Community of Character

After my post on RAGBRAI, Rich Puppione, now retired from the Pleasanton School District, reminded me that one of the features of this year’s National Forum is a site visit to Pleasanton, California.  Here’s a community where commitment to character permeates everything they do. Four schools in the district have been recognized with National Schools of … Continue reading “A Community of Character”

Ways to Celebrate Our Teachers

Today is National Teacher Appreciation Day. What is your school doing to honor the hard work of its teachers? While some schools stretch out their celebrations throughout the full length of Teacher Appreciation Week with breakfasts and other recognition activities, other schools seem to let the day pass without any acknowledgment of any kind. Just … Continue reading “Ways to Celebrate Our Teachers”

Graduation Wisdom

June is a great time to evaluate the things that really matter in life. With school years ending across the country and the great weather kicking into high gear (already turning into overly hot, humid days here in Washington, DC), we all begin to take a look at the Class of 2011. Graduates at all … Continue reading “Graduation Wisdom”

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