Professional Development at The National Forum on Character Education

How do we build caring and productive communities?

Teachers are Learners Too!

By Jennifer Pilarski, STAT Teacher* at Norwood Elementary *Baltimore County Public Schools has developed the Students & Teachers Accessing Tomorrow (S.T.A.T.) initiative which has provided each school a teacher who is a professional development resource and instructional coach. Teacher-centered Learning If you are a teacher, you’ve been told to create a student-centered environment, shouldn’t those … Continue reading “Teachers are Learners Too!”

What Makes Professional Development Effective?

We asked four veteran Character.org trainers: What Makes Professional Development Effective?Here’s what they had to say: Make learning interactive. The most meaningful PD I have been a part of is when there is a lot of interaction/participation.  We all learn by doing or participating.  We silo or compartmentalize so many facets of education these days and … Continue reading “What Makes Professional Development Effective?”

The Power of Example

American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson is credited with my all-time favorite character quote: “Who you are speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you say.” I’m astonished at the powerful simplicity of these words.  As I recall the most influential people in my past, each of them demonstrated behavioral integrity — their actions matched their … Continue reading “The Power of Example”

Building Unity while Navigating Change: The Story of Westwood & Bales

by Barbara Gruener I can remember that afternoon as if it happened yesterday: the song We Are Family started playing over the intercom, our signature all-call to come to the cafeteria for a school staff community circle. It could have meant a number of things; a schedule change we needed to know about, a community … Continue reading “Building Unity while Navigating Change: The Story of Westwood & Bales”

3 Books All Educators Should Read this Summer

By Becky Sipos  Count me among the millions who have watched Ken Robinson’s 2006 Ted Talk on “How Schools Kill Creativity,” (the most viewed in the organization’s history), so when it was time to select books for my summer reading column, I knew one book I would choose was Robinson’s new book “Creative Schools The … Continue reading “3 Books All Educators Should Read this Summer”

A Model for Effective Professional Development

Commitment to professional development means more than setting aside a couple of days for meetings after the school year ends.  As we are emphasizing the importance of Principle 8 this month, we have already shared professional development resources that will allow you to engage with your staff in meaningful ways. Now, I want to highlight … Continue reading “A Model for Effective Professional Development”

Faculty Book Studies: a Powerful Form of Professional Development

by Dr. Michael Anselmo As we worked our way through this journey, one thing was apparent: the staff needed to be on the same page when it came to character education.  I have been the principal at Selvidge Middle School for the last 3 years.  Prior to being named the principal, I was the assistant … Continue reading “Faculty Book Studies: a Powerful Form of Professional Development”

Resources for Meaningful Professional Development

During the month of June, the Character.org blog will be focusing on Principle 8, “the school staff is an ethical learning community.” But how do we create that ethical learning community? There are many effective ways to spark ethical discussion and growth amongst your staff. Start the conversation by doing an all staff book-study. Recommended … Continue reading “Resources for Meaningful Professional Development”

Appreciating Teachers: How Can Principals Show They Care?

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, parents across the country are organizing luncheons, baking cookies and buying gifts to thank teachers. Students are making cards and writing notes. What do principals do to appreciate the teachers at their school? Amy Johnston was the principal of Francis Howell Middle School (Missouri), which was recognized as a … Continue reading “Appreciating Teachers: How Can Principals Show They Care?”

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