Encouraging Good Character on the First Day: 3 MORE ways to prepare your classroom for excellence

Last week, I shared 3 great ways to prepare your classroom for excellence as you head back to school. This week, here are three more ways to improve your room!Tip 4: Developing “eyes in the back of your head” Tip 4: Developing “eyes in the back of your head” Have you ever had one of those … Continue reading “Encouraging Good Character on the First Day: 3 MORE ways to prepare your classroom for excellence”

Character and Academics–How to Integrate

I’ve been thinking a lot about our focus this month on integrating academics and character education in the classroom. We truly believe they should be intertwined, but sometimes when I go to a school for a site visit evaluation, I observe lessons that seem like were planned just for my visit, as if someone had … Continue reading “Character and Academics–How to Integrate”

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”

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!”

President’s Column: Teacher Appreciation

by Becky Sipos, President & CEO, Character.org “In a completely rational society the best and brightest of us would aspire to be teachers, and the rest of us would have to settle for something less, because passing on civilization from one generation to the next ought to be the highest honor and the highest responsibility … Continue reading “President’s Column: Teacher Appreciation”

Four Ideas for Boosting Teacher Morale

by Becky Sipos Teachers matter. Decades of research and studies have found that, what to me, seems obvious–the quality of teachers has a bigger influence on student achievement than school facilities or curriculum. But what the studies have not clearly defined is what we mean by student achievement. Nor have they figured out what to … Continue reading “Four Ideas for Boosting Teacher Morale”

The Classroom as a Caring Community

by Hal Urban     I was a social studies teacher in a public high school for 36 years. I loved every minute of it! Well, at least almost every minute. In all honesty, my teaching career started out wonderfully, and got better each year.  I’m convinced that the key was good relationships. I was taught on my first … Continue reading “The Classroom as a Caring Community”

Annie Fox Addresses Bullying Issues in “Whose Kids Are These Anyway”

When it comes to bullying prevention, teachers handle concerns from parents, demands from administrators and regulations from their local and federal governments, all while educating a group of 20 or so young students. Rather than simply providing them resources and telling them to solve the problem, it is important to also stress, they are not … Continue reading “Annie Fox Addresses Bullying Issues in “Whose Kids Are These Anyway””

Ferguson—How do you teach when hearts are hurting?

While the world is watching Ferguson, disturbed by the violence, disturbed by the grand jury’s ruling, disturbed by the very disparate responses that all seem to be colored by race, I was brought back to my teaching roots and empathized with all of the classroom teachers struggling with how to deal with this issue.

Performance Character and How to Foster It

“It takes real character to keep working as hard or even harder once you’re there. When you read about an athlete or team that wins over and over and over, remind yourself, ‘More than ability, they have character.’ ” ― John Wooden, quoted in Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Carol S. Dweck What is performance … Continue reading “Performance Character and How to Foster It”

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)”

Taking Your School from Good to Great

Character education is often misunderstood. It is more than a word of the month or an assembly to honor students with good character. It exceeds catching students being good and helping those who are less fortunate. Character education is not a program, but a philosophy about how we ought to treat one another and why.  The fundamental lessons … Continue reading “Taking Your School from Good to Great”

Education as the Key to Equality: Where Does the Department of Education Stand?

I was privileged to attend the Washington Post’s summit on families and children earlier this month. What did I learn? That education remains the key ingredient for success for all American children, especially those living in poverty. While experts and politicians continue to debate the role of government in helping families, children, and communities, all … Continue reading “Education as the Key to Equality: Where Does the Department of Education Stand?”

A Valentine’s Accolade To The Teachers In This World

Submitted by Richard R. Pieper, Sr. One day a teacher asked her students to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name. Then she told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates  and write it … Continue reading “A Valentine’s Accolade To The Teachers In This World”

Preventing Bullying and Developing Leaders

A 2011 study in Virginia elementary, middle, and high schools found that bullying is considered the primary safety concern of students in all grade levels (Garrow, 2011). Students in middle school were most concerned with bullying (92%), followed by elementary (83%) and high school students (77%). Bullied students may experience many negative effects, including depression … Continue reading “Preventing Bullying and Developing Leaders”

Staying in the Question

Why Do You Do Character Education?

We asked our 2012 National Schools of Character why they do character education. Some replied:

Preventing Bullying—a Teacher’s Perspective

The movie Bully opens tomorrow in select theaters. You no doubt have seen many of the stories about the film as it has received widespread news coverage, in addition to on social media platforms like Twitter (#BullyMovie and @BullyMovie). I saw the movie last year at a prerelease screening at the U.S. Dept. of Ed. … Continue reading “Preventing Bullying—a Teacher’s Perspective”

Avoiding Teacher Burnout

I’ve been on the road for CEP lately, exhibiting at a few conferences. So I’ve had the opportunity to talk to quite a few teachers, and many are feeling burned out. They’re tired of being the media scapegoats for all that is wrong with education. There’s even a Facebook page where teachers are posting Letters … Continue reading “Avoiding Teacher Burnout”


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