Character Day: We’re all Works in Progress

Student Voice in Character Education: When in Doubt, Ask the Students!

On an early morning school climate team meeting, a group of ten educators crowd around a conference table sipping coffee and crafting a plan. They are discussing a kick-off event for their new character education initiative with the theme “kindness counts.” A buzz of excited chatter ensues as staff discuss various ideas for recognizing students … Continue reading “Student Voice in Character Education: When in Doubt, Ask the Students!”

9 Ways Parents Can Help Kids Cope with Jealousy

I once had three students who tried out for travel soccer in sixth grade. After only one made the team, the other two spread a lie, saying that the girl had made the team only because her uncle was the coach. It wasn’t the first time in my job as a school counselor that I’ve … Continue reading “9 Ways Parents Can Help Kids Cope with Jealousy”

How Do I Make an Effective Apology?

This week I unintentionally offended two colleagues and friends by showing a lack of respect for their contributions to others and myself. I am disappointed and annoyed with myself. How do I apologize so I (we) can move on?

8 Tips for Cultivating a Climate of Care

At the end of May, I finished my 34th year of serving as a public-school educator. This hard truth that my time in school had come to an end rapidly washed over me as I retired from that role. This summer,  as I’ve been reflecting on my glorious career that found me growing alongside every … Continue reading “8 Tips for Cultivating a Climate of Care”

Helping Children Invent the Future

Putting Character into Innovation If it’s true, as Alan Kay said, that “The best way to predict the future is to invent it,” then how do we do that? More importantly, how do we help our students do that?   For many years I conducted a student workshop called Being Your Own Futurist that helped students design the future using two … Continue reading “Helping Children Invent the Future”

Intrinsic Motivation—It’s an Inside Job

Think about something that you love to do! Perhaps it is reading a good book, playing a video game, being in nature, spending time with your family, or eating a decadent chocolate treat. Does anyone need to give you a sticker, pay you some money, or give you an award for doing what you love … Continue reading “Intrinsic Motivation—It’s an Inside Job”

Relax, You’re Going to Be Criticized

What are you bracing against? The Practice: Relax, you’re going to be criticized. Why? The title of this practice is a little tongue-in-cheek. What I mean is, most of us – me included – spend time worrying about criticism: past, present, and even future. Yes, try hard, keep agreements, “don’t be evil,” etc. But sooner or … Continue reading “Relax, You’re Going to Be Criticized”

Finding Beauty in the Chaos with Principle 7

A few months after my oldest son was born, I felt confident and on top of the world. The months prior to his birth, I gradually added to my toolbox and researched everything from sleep training and homemade baby food to the language I would use when he played independently and interacted with others. I … Continue reading “Finding Beauty in the Chaos with Principle 7”

Creating Opportunities for Moral Action

Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy, a K-5 public elementary school in historic Old Town Alexandria, Virginia today serves a diverse population with students coming from all socio-economic levels and countries of origin. Built in 1958 for African American students during the time of segregation, the building underwent a transformation in 2000 to attract other community members to … Continue reading “Creating Opportunities for Moral Action”

Promoting Core Values Produce a Caring Work Environment

Is it necessary to have core ethical values in place to create a caring work environment? When employers and employees exhibit genuine care for one another, they thrive and are able to produce successful results. We interviewed John Horan, a successful Real Estate Broker/Developer in North Central Florida who has owned and operated multiple businesses, … Continue reading “Promoting Core Values Produce a Caring Work Environment”

3 Goal-Setting Steps to Make Dreams a Reality

Sports, like golf, provide the opportunity for kids to gain exposure to core values and life lessons that that can help in competition, but also in everyday life.

Empowering Students with Project Management Skills

Since childhood, many of us have acquired the art of project management. From pursuing hobbies, to managing relatives and other things that comprise of basic learning, we have learned how to be project managers in one way or the other. 

Raise them Up in the Way they Should Go

The other day, I was walking home with my kids from school when a boy in my daughter’s class yelled, ”Goodbye” to her. I watched as her little frame looked at him, shrugged and turned away to keep walking. I was shocked. As we continued walking, I asked her why she didn’t wave or respond … Continue reading “Raise them Up in the Way they Should Go”

Workplace Character: The Genuine Desire to Simply be Genuine

There is perhaps no other professional subject spoken about more often in the press and in HR sessions than character in the workplace. Yet it is poorly understood in principle and in practice. The steady stream of stories featuring C-Suite deceit in the form of scandals and immoral management decisions takes a toll on those … Continue reading “Workplace Character: The Genuine Desire to Simply be Genuine”

Overcoming Fears with the 11 Principles

My first time going on a roller coaster was when I was 11 years old. It was a year after my sisters and I immigrated to the United States and we were excited to try as many “American” activities as possible. Going on a roller coaster ride was one of our top priorities. However, my … Continue reading “Overcoming Fears with the 11 Principles”

Building Affirmations to Promote Character

When I was a gymnastic teacher in my twenties at a gymnastics center, I used to instruct little girls on all sorts of tricks on the beam, bar and other gymnastics equipment. Gymnastics is not an easy sport to do. It is downright scary at times and takes courage to perform well. Just watch the … Continue reading “Building Affirmations to Promote Character”

Character Education in a World of Artificial Intelligence

Even though there are many ways to define character education, for the moment let’s assume that Wikipedia provides a reasonable starting point: “…an umbrella term loosely used to describe the teaching of children in a manner that will help them develop variously as moral, civic, good, mannered, behaved, non-bullying, healthy, critical, successful, traditional, compliant or socially … Continue reading “Character Education in a World of Artificial Intelligence”

5 Tips for Improving Social Media Character

It only takes one click to reveal your character. Just one click, and anyone in the world has access to the content that exists on your social media profiles. Every status you write, picture you post, and article you share leaves a permanent trail often referred to as your social media footprint. Whether you realize … Continue reading “5 Tips for Improving Social Media Character”

Earth Day’s Butterfly Effect

Nowadays, we hear a lot in media about environmentalism and the effect humans have on the planet. We know more now. Thankfully, for the most part, we know better. Even still, it can be difficult to get started without being overwhelmed (I need to recycle this. Wait, should this be composted? What can I plant … Continue reading “Earth Day’s Butterfly Effect”


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