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Character Education - teaching values


From: Judy Decker (jdecker_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Jul 19 2003 - 03:27:00 PDT

Dear Art Educators,

I woke up early this morning....and will just pound off this message to you
then it is off back to bed (Oh I joined Mary Ann's group, too, this morning
to get ideas to share). See? I told you, I read my email at all times during
the day (or night - I DO sleep folks).

One topic I wanted to talk about this summer was character education -- and
how we can make it an important part of our curriculum. I want all of your
children to turn out like my dad (smile). He never said a bad word to say
about anyone....always had a smile on his face....worked very hard all his
life....and loved his job. I know one of his secrets was that he was
"thankful" - he "counted his blessings" (he always had his mechanical pencil
in his pocket -smile).....He had all of these things in his "survival kit"
(yet I never saw him chew gum -- he just must have swallowed it sometime
when he was a kid - smile).

I have posted the Survival kit several time to the list - so will just put a
link here:

I used this survival kit with my kids all the time....It made discipline fun
for me....I made my point and no one was hurt and the problems went away
(most of the time).
I had far fewer pencils taken and very few were broken using this plan
(maybe even none). I had no problem with gum chewing....If anyone is
interested let me know and I will share how this worked. We were a "No Gum

Someone mentioned that teaching "Life Skills" was their number one rule....
To try - Do your best. How do you teach "Life Skills"?

I found in doing my "job" that my best wasn't good enough..... I always had
to do more - do more - and then when I did more....everyone though it was a
big joke (I won't tell you the "horror stories" about my web site....and I
won't tell you the names/labels I was called). I had to change my "rule" for
myself to do the best I can with the amount of time I have. I am finally
glad I have listened to my list "buddies" who told me I was too good for my
school. I am proud of what I did for kids.... I am proud of the messages I
gave to kids. Kids were number one with me. I know I did the right thing.
Now....we have to teach our kids to know when they do the right
thing....Cause some of them just aren't getting that at home. I heard it
everyday from my husband.....and by the time they reach high school it is
too late for change (most of the time). My ideas worked all but one or two
middle school kids.

Someone wanted to see an "inspirational quote" everyday....Does anyone get
that newsletter? Maybe they could post one "Words of Wisdom" for that. I had
lots....and lots....and lots. of quotes on my machine at school.

Well... I have enjoyed this "cup of tea" this morning. See you soon. I am
going back to bed. Laughing at myself, now -- I didn't really "pound" this
one off....this one took me a while to write.

Judy Decker - Ohio
Incredible Art Department