Empowering Students Through Self-Assessment

By Svetlana Nikic, Academic Instruction Coordinator & Algebra Teacher, Busch Middle School of Character In these times of great technological change and computer apps, teachers are inundated with data and therefore often puzzled how to revise their approaches to assessment that often fails to inform about direct learning, teaching and the whole child. To resolve … Continue reading “Empowering Students Through Self-Assessment”

Why I Serve: A Student Perspective on Servant Leadership

As a part of Principle 9, shared leadership, we aim to emphasize the crucial role students play in character education initiatives. One way we can value students’ contributions is by providing them the opportunity to share their own thoughts. Franchesca Ramirez, the author of this post, is a member of the Milton Hershey School Class … Continue reading “Why I Serve: A Student Perspective on Servant Leadership”

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)”

Should We Require Teaching Digital Citizenship? Yes.

Digital citizenship should not only be required, it should also become the primary lens through which we ask our children and ourselves to view the world. Our prosperity, humanity, and indeed even our survival, may well depend on it.

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?”

Preventing Academic Dishonesty Part 3: Students & Peer Pressure

As you sit in your crowded lecture hall and toil away at that seemingly impossible math problem, you glance down and see a peer in the next row surreptitiously looking at formulas he has scrawled on his hand. This scene sounds quite plausible to many students. Whether they’ve engaged in the behavior themselves or simply … Continue reading “Preventing Academic Dishonesty Part 3: Students & Peer Pressure”

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”

What’s Different for Students in a School of Character?

In schools of character: Bullying is rare 87% of students attending 2011 National Schools of Character reported in climate surveys that they felt safe school or that bullying was rare (with 27 of the 44 NSOC reporting data in this category). Eldridge Park Elementary School (Lawrenceville, NJ): 100% of 3rd graders report feeling safe at … Continue reading “What’s Different for Students in a School of Character?”

Member of Post-Columbine Generation Reflects on School Shooting

Monday, February 28th brought us news of another school shooting—this time in Chardon, OH. The entire country has been rocked by this violent act that killed three students and injured two others. This is news that we hope to never hear again.

19 Signs Your Child Is Being Bullied and What to Do about It

Warnings signs that your child is being bulliedIf your child is bullied it means that a peer or peers are intentionally causing her or him pain. Peer abuse! Just the thought can send shivers down our spines. But the fact is 160,000 children skip school every day because they fear being attacked or intimidated by … Continue reading “19 Signs Your Child Is Being Bullied and What to Do about It”


The following post was written by Marilyn Jackson, Guidance Counselor, Fox C-6 School District, Seckman High School We have heard it said many times that “learning is power,” and while obviously this is true, we often do not examine how we empower the learner.  How do we create an inviting atmosphere where students have autonomy? How can … Continue reading “INSPIRING THE VOICE, EMPOWERING THE STUDENT”

Character Education Strategies for Life

The following was written by Denise Arvidson, principal, Col. John Robinson School, Westford, Massachusetts. What are your character education strategies for life? Peace-It-Together:  Character Education Strategies for LifeWhat do playgrounds, lunchrooms, buses, after school programs and neighborhoods all have in common? They are the “hot spots” where many social and behavioral issues take root and then encroach … Continue reading “Character Education Strategies for Life”

Celebrating Cultural Differences in a Caring School Community

This post was written by Ron Tucker, principal, Bayless Junior High School, St. Louis, MO In this era of high-stakes testing and ever-increasing accountability, educators across the country have become familiar with the term “as evidenced by” when it comes to defending their school improvement plans. While testing is important, we know that developing healthy, … Continue reading “Celebrating Cultural Differences in a Caring School Community”

Character Education and Service: Narratives That Engage Difference and Friendship

This post was written by Nan Peterson, Blake School, Hopkins, Minnesota Teachers can help students develop the skills to engage authentically across difference through a series of interviews with the end goal of composing and making a gift of a published account of their partner’s story. The service is the gift of story and the gift … Continue reading “Character Education and Service: Narratives That Engage Difference and Friendship”

The Greenfield Way: Transforming our School Culture with Character-Based Discipline

By Claudia St. Amour, counselor

Creating Tomorrow’s Leaders

The following post was submitted from Beverly Woods Elementary School, a 2009 National School of Character. How do we prepare our students for a future in which the jobs they will be doing do not yet exist and the technologies that they will be working with have not yet been invented? The answer to this … Continue reading “Creating Tomorrow’s Leaders”

Bowls for Hunger

CEP’s March focus is Principle 5: Providing Opportunities for Moral Action. The following service learning idea was submitted by Tina Sohn, Art Teacher & District Character Leader, Sullivan Primary School a 2010 Nationa School of Character, Sullivan, Missouri . We’d love to hear what your school is doing. Sullivan Primary School (pre-K through first grade) … Continue reading “Bowls for Hunger”

The Expenses of Prom

Prom, a night intended to be full of fun and revelry, can often be an enormous burden on students from lower-income backgrounds. The need to get the perfect dress or tuxedo, find transportation, partake of a fancy meal, and then perhaps coordinate an after-party (in a safe, legal environment) can be a truly stressful experience … Continue reading “The Expenses of Prom”

Save our Schools March in Washington

Yesterday more than 5,000 teachers and supporters gathered on the Ellipse for the Save Our Schools  rally and march to the White House. I decided to attend along with my son, his wife and her parents, who came down from New York City to show support. Quite frankly, I thought there’d be an even bigger crowd, but … Continue reading “Save our Schools March in Washington”

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