Very well said Tracey. I totally agree. This year I had a group of students "commissioned" by our character ed committee to do a mural for our library. We brainstormed what all of the virtue words meant (integrity, honesty, tolerance, etc.) and then talked about what people look like, actions they take, when they are demonstrating those things. We then began drawing. They really took it seriously and it was a great experience. Working in groups, they seemed to work more cooperatively and took real ownership. So many of these kids don't get any of that at home. I'm just thankful for the grandparents that raised me- who are of the Greatest Generation.
Tracey Collier <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
This is one of my favourite soapbox subjects.
Character education is something that used to happen at home, but is now
also expected from teachers to do. The principal at the primary school I
used to be involved with once got a letter from a parent that said
"dear mr X
Please punish little Johnny for misbehaving at home. He does not seem to
listen to us but he has a great deal of respect for you.
This lack of taking resposibility starts at a young age. Kids are very
much into instant gratification and blaming someone else when something
goes wrong. They expect someone else to clean up the mess they make.
Accountability is zero.
Being resposible and accountable is a learned behaviour. The kids are
not taught this at home so we have to fill in the blanks as best we can.
A great lesson that fired the imagination and got them going was one
where I read a scenario and they then had to imagine and then draw what
they thought the consequences of the actions described in the scenario
would be. The idea that got all this going was a kid who told me he can
do whatever he wants and I can't stop him. When I asked him wether he
has actually given some thought to how his actions affect others he
looked at me as if I hit him over the head with a brick. He obviously
had never thought of the fact that his behaviour had an impact on those
This playing "what if I do this" game has a lot of value for kids who
have issues. What they draw can sometimes also be very illuminating
about their issues.
Getting off my soapbox (for now:)
Tracey in South Africa
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