Five Things You Can Do That Will Make You a Better Educator Right Now

By Philip Brown A recent article (July 20) in the Washington Post by parenting consultant Meghan Leahy entitled Five things you can do that will make you a better parent right now captured my attention because each of her five points are also sound recommendations for educators. I’ve reworked her five points – see if … Continue reading “Five Things You Can Do That Will Make You a Better Educator Right Now”

A Tale of Two Schools: Valuing Development Over Control

By Dr. Philip Vincent At least 15 years ago I received a letter (people still wrote those then!) from an educator who had recently heard me in her school district.  She shared with me how she had moved to a new large school district, interviewed at two schools and accepted the job at one of … Continue reading “A Tale of Two Schools: Valuing Development Over Control”

Considerations for Adopting a School Climate Survey

By Linda Inlay, retired principal of The River School, a National School of Character Those of us who have been talking for years about the importance of school culture or school climate and how it can improve student achievement, are heartened by the inclusion of this topic in the national conversation about school improvement. ESSA’s … Continue reading “Considerations for Adopting a School Climate Survey”

How Reflection Can Transform Your School

At 2014 National School of Character, Smith Street School, reflection is so important that the school made it one of its core values. Principal, Lynnda Nadien, reflects on the impact that reflection has had on the students, the teachers and the school culture. by Lynnda Nadien As building principal, I am extremely proud of my … Continue reading “How Reflection Can Transform Your School”

3 Ways to Assess School Climate & Character

At Premier Charter School, assessment is a big part of school life, because as Head of School, Julie Frugo, so wisely put it, “how do we know what we are doing is even working if we don’t assess it?” Recommended Strategies Give students surveys about character & climate regularly Julie said: “One of our main … Continue reading “3 Ways to Assess School Climate & Character”

Character Resource Roundup: How Do I Assess School Climate?

Principle 11 is a very important part of the 11 Principles of Effective Education, but it is often seen as a daunting aspect of the process. Let’s take a closer look at Principle 11: “the school regularly assesses its culture and climate, the functioning of its staff as character educators, and the extent to which its students … Continue reading “Character Resource Roundup: How Do I Assess School Climate?”

Remembering Columbine

Remembering Columbine by Dr. Dave Keller, Character.org Today marks the 16th anniversary of the horrific Columbine High School massacre in Littleton, Colorado.  On April 20, 1999, the world watched in unspeakable horror as Columbine students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold murdered twelve fellow students and a teacher — and wounded 23 others — before both … Continue reading “Remembering Columbine”

School Safety Summit Recap: Part 1

Part 1 of a blog reporting on CEP’s 2013 National School Safety Summit on Oct. 24. The summit included presentations and discussions which largely fell into two broad categories: preventing violence with improved school climate and engagement, and crisis management responses to active situations of violence. Look for the second part on crisis management and … Continue reading “School Safety Summit Recap: Part 1”

Q. What can schools do to keep students safe?

From the 2013 NSOC magazine: Edited by Joseph Mazzola with permission of the authors In the wake of too many school shooting tragedies, we at CEP know that educators and parents in every school community are looking for solutions that work, so we posed this question to several national experts, and here is what they … Continue reading “Q. What can schools do to keep students safe?”

A Virtues-Based Community: More than just a Dream

By Dr. Raquel Castrodad “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.” – William Arthur Ward The quote from what is a brilliant ad slogan, “Just Do it!,” should be the guiding light and starting point of this voyage towards achieving a virtues-based community. It … Continue reading “A Virtues-Based Community: More than just a Dream”

Adventures in Student Teaching: My First Day at School (Take One & Two)

First in a series–how a new student teacher tries to implement character education based on her experience attending a National School of Character before entering college. With nervous energy and excitement, I arrived at the elementary school where I planned to begin my student teaching. It was superintendent’s conference day, and I was taking the … Continue reading “Adventures in Student Teaching: My First Day at School (Take One & Two)”

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Empathy: To lead is to listen and to learn

Thank goodness my wife opened my eyes to the importance of empathy before I became a father and a school leader. To be honest, for the first half of my life, I was so driven to achieve the task at hand that I struggled to understand why some people just couldn’t show up, get to work and do what they had to … Continue reading “Empathy: To lead is to listen and to learn”

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”

Tips from the Trenches: Student Services

By Dr. Stephen Sroka During the last few months, I have had the chance to talk with several speakers who strongly affected their audiences. I started to think about the remarkable leaders with whom I have worked over the years and how they have made huge differences with their incredible wisdom, insights, and actions. I … Continue reading “Tips from the Trenches: Student Services”

Tips from the Trenches: School Safety

By Dr. Stephen Sroka During the last few months, I have had the chance to talk with several speakers who strongly affected their audiences. I started to think about the remarkable leaders with whom I have worked over the years and how they have made huge differences with their incredible wisdom, insights, and actions. I … Continue reading “Tips from the Trenches: School Safety”

Committing to the Sandy Hook Promise

 By Russell J. Sojourner, Ph.D

Are You A Cathedral Builder or a Stone Chipper?

Scott Taylor gave an outstanding keynote address this morning, using a mix of humor, entertainment, and experiences to share the importance of building strong relationships and maintaining positivity in schools. Principal Taylor shared stories from his own experience, and it’s clear that Principal Taylor practices what he preaches. Every day, he roams the halls of his … Continue reading “Are You A Cathedral Builder or a Stone Chipper?”

Back to School, Back to Social Garbage

The following first appeared on Annie Fox’s blog and she has graciously allowed us to share it. We are so thrilled that she joined us at our 19th National Forum on Character Education this year! Thanks, Annie! So, summer’s winding down. I broke my arm, but at least I was enjoying a bike ride when … Continue reading “Back to School, Back to Social Garbage”

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”

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