The State of Florida has legislated that schools must teach Character Education. Since that’s what this website is about, I thought I’d do a little research into what other schools and Districts are doing.
According to the Niagara Falls School District (I love Niagara Falls, so even though I don’t live in this District, this site interested me), September is the Month of Respect for Character Education.
They have a calendar for the 10 months of school that correlate one aspect of good character with each month. Here’s their calendar
10 Monthly Character Traits:
September – Respect, Opening of Schools
October – Responsibility
November – Citizenship, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving
December – Kindness (Caring, Empathy, Generosity)
January – Tolerance (Forgiveness), Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
February – Integrity, African-American History Month
March – Perseverance (Diligence), Women’s History Month
April – Courage, “Stand Against Racism”
May – Self- Control
There are many ways to teach respect. One could approach it overtly such as creating interaction rules for the classroom. There’s also the less obvious way and that may include allowing the class to create those rules with the teacher’s guidance. This is a subtle form of showing respect by allowing the students to be co-creators of their class. Combining this exercise, combines the overt and subtle form of teaching the concept. Professional teachers do this well. On this website, is provided a list of 100 ways to teach character education. On the list is some overt ways and some more subtle ways to teach character education.
Further diving into this website, is an Overview of their Philosophy on Character Education. I particularly like that their self-view as an Internationally known District requires a responsibility to the world as stated thusly, our city “deserves well educated ambassadors who can foster a sense of respect and goodwill to people of all walks of life.”
The school District takes a concerted effort to encourage good character by awarding the Pride of NFT Award for students showing good character; encouraging Interpersonal Non-Violence Prevention; and School-Wide Positive Behavior Supports which is a chart showing three aspects of each character trait (Academic Achievement, Communication, and Ready-to-Learn).
By having the whole school focus on a particular trait each month and providing clear guidelines for what that character trait “looks” like and by rewarding exceptional examples of good character with an award, plus personal responsibility the District is creating a school culture or climate in which good character is encouraged. This appears to be a good system.
I enjoy researching what other schools and Districts do to teach Character Education. I will bring you more as I research them.
If you’d like to check this website out yourself, here is the link http://www.nfschools.net/Page/234
I’d love to hear your thoughts and/or share with me what your school or District is doing regarding Character Education.