How it Works: Education
Share your personal passions around the importance of character development regularly at staff meetings, on your blog or through twitter. Invite renowned speakers on character education into your school and/or school district. Provide the necessary funding for your staff to visit other schools on a similar path and to bring in educators who are doing this work in other schools.
Some resources to help in your journey:
1. Character Abbotsford | Email, Web, Twitter
2. Character Education Partnership | Email, Web, Twitter
your shared values
Establish what good character will look like in your school community. In order for this list of values to have a meaningful impact on your school culture for years to come consider the following:
1. Involve staff, students, parents and community connections in the process of identifying your values
2. Ensure that the process is an open one; anyone should be welcome to participate
3. Strategically invite key student leaders from the various groups within your student population
Develop a student led group that will lead the charge to model the values daily and to intentionally promote them in your building. This mandate could be given to an existing leadership group or to a new 'Character Council' group of students. Their job will be to live out the values in your classrooms, hallways, sports teams, shops and arts rooms. They will also need to find ways to broadcast your shared values to the student population both physically and through social media campaigns. You will know that you are well on your way when your common language of character is seen in the hallways, on your website, listed in course outlines & planners and spoken about in teachable moments throughout the day!
New Staff and Students
Part of your long-term strategy will need to include a way to orient new staff to your school. The question is, "What does it mean to be a [insert your mascot here]?" Additionally, how will you welcome new students to your school? What will they be told about the values in the building and, again, what it means to be a [insert your mascot here]?
Some ideas (all student led, of course):
1. Offer a camp to introduce students from your feeder schools to your character values
2. Invite students who will be moving up into your school system to an orientation day
3. Put on a character week for your student body filled with activities and events that promote your values
For an example of a Canadian School of Character, visit W.J. Mouat Secondary School online here or MEI Middle School online here. Questions? Contact Ms. Karen Bowater (email).