Character education isn't anything new. It's recently received a formal label. However, adults have been teaching character for years. Maybe it wasn't in a formal class setting, but that doesn't matter. Parents and grandparents, teachers, coaches and anyone who interacts with kids is a teacher of character. Anyone who helps shape a child's personality and view of life is a character educator. Do you disagree with that statement? Well, consider this. You influence the children you interact with in a number of ways, including: 1. The way you talk. Do you use a lot of foul language? If so, the children around you may pick up the same habit. You're basically showing them that it's fine to use bad language. Unless someone else shows them otherwise, they will probably start speaking the same way. You can also influence their manner of speech. Do you use slang all the time? Do you speak proper English, Spanish or whatever language you speak? Using slang and improper forms of speech can influence children as well. Have you ever heard an older child speak who sounds like they don't understand the language? It's probably because they've picked up negative speech patterns from an adult. 2. Your behavior. Do you allow children to see you blatantly lying? Do you treat people unfairly? Any such behaviors can influence what children do. Children are heavily influenced by how adults behave. They pay more attention to what you do as opposed to what you tell them to do. If your actions contradict your words, children will pay closer attention to your actions. 3. The behavior you allow. How do you allow children to behave? Do you let them litter without telling them to clean it up? Do you allow them to run in the house? Children will think anything is fine unless you tell them otherwise. Character education occurs all the time. Not only does it occur at home, but in schools, churches and other settings. Pay close attention to how you speak and act around children. You could possibly change a life. "There's no reason you should be embarrassed about not know about character education programs. <=Click here to get the information you need to effectively educate them about character. If you're ready to read more about how our character education program can help you with your kid's character education, visit our character education page and download our free Ebook The Ultimate Guides to Kid's Happiness. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now."
Character education duties often hurtle downward from administrators to crash painfully into unwilling hands. Educators who contracted to teach other courses suddenly become accidental teachers of this subject, forced to make unsought trips into character education country. In Chapters 1 and 2 of this guidebook, we gave such accidental teachers travel tips on what to pack, where to stay, and where to eat when required to take such "business trips." In this final chapter, we prepare a proactive presentation on character education - a character education lesson plan that will be both captivating and effective. Character education presentations should be viewed as priorities - especially by the accidental teacher who has been sent to deliver them. It is important to remember that trips into the lands of mathematics, science, history, and other subjects will be unsuccessful if character education presentations fail. Prepare your proactive presentation weeks before you must give it, working to make it so excellent that even the king of character education land will applaud. The following points should always be included. Others may be added if time and your expense account allow. Parts of a Proactive Presentation 1. Proactive Approach. Too often, accidental teachers engage in reactive character education lesson plans. Reactive presentations look at the past instead of anticipating the future. Focusing only on weeding out undesirable bad behavior, they encourage reactivity. That is, they encourage students to change their performance or behavior just because they have become aware that they are being observed. The accidental teacher must work to avoid reactivity. This can best be done by consciously adopting a proactive approach. Anticipate the moral needs of your listeners in character education country. For example, give a presentation on responsibility before, not after, listeners prove themselves irresponsible. The control you exercise with such a presentation will cause listeners to build and exercise responsibility immediately. Irresponsibility is avoided or greatly reduced through proactive presentation of the trait. Be enthusiastically proactive in your speaking. If you aren't interested in what you have to say, your listeners will not be interested either. 2. Story Power. Have you noticed how often dynamic public speakers use stories in their presentations? Storytelling is considered by many to be the key to business communications. It is the key to character education communications, too. Even the great teachers of ancient Greek and Rome recognized that fact. They used story power to teach high moral values - and the accidental teacher will want to do the same. Listeners get caught up in story-powered presentations. They identify with the central figures of stories, their attention riveted on your presentation to learn what happens to those figures. Stories are non-threatening. Stories don't point the finger, or shake it in listeners' faces. Stories in character education presentations link powerful emotions with information - a key way to drive knowledge deep into your listeners. Stories, and the understanding they impart, are retained long after lecture have disappeared in a memory dump. So base your presentations on books, but not just any books. Choose books that are purpose-written for inhabitants of character education land. For young listeners, select books that provide clear definitions of moral traits, and weave explanations of those qualities into exciting fiction. For more mature listeners, choose how-to books written specifically for character education country. 3. Professional Input. Proactive presentations link professional input to story power. Give your presentation maximum clout by using character education lesson plans prepared by the author of the book on which you base it. An author who is a professional in both the educational and literary worlds will deliver the kind of input that keeps listeners captivated while conveying accurate knowledge. The materials you carry with you should speak to every type of learner in character education land. Auditory learners will benefit from listening to the story and your discussion of it. Visual learners will benefit from visual aids you use as well as the images supplied by their own imaginations during your presentation. Kinesthetic learners will need the interaction described below to get full benefit out of your meetings in character education land. Professional input should include materials that appeal to these and other learning styles. Professional input should also include evaluation for use at the end of your presentation. It would never do to leave a presentation without evaluating whether or not you were effective - whether or not you attained the end for which you were sent on your journey. You want results, and should test for them in a variety of ways. 4. Interactive Time. Get listeners involved in your presentation. Have them sing along with you, tying the music to your presentation theme. Get some up on stage to perform a skit that will help them remember. Many speakers use tactics such as these to be sure listeners are alert, and so should the accidental teacher. Add a workshop to your presentation, introduce a craft or other project, and you will push your information into sometimes recalcitrant minds. 5. Take-Away Bags. You may have attended a seminar at which every participant received a bag of "goodies" to take away at the end of the meeting. The bag held items that served as incentives, motivators to make you eager to do what the speaker urged. It held reminders, too, that helped you recall what you learned for months after the speaker left town. Make sure your presentation has provision for the distribution of take-away bags. You don't need an actual bag or even a bagful for each attendee, but be sure everyone has at least one or two items. You could even use your interactive time to create take-away bag items with participants. 6. Closing Awards. Yes, seminars do give awards to participants, and the inhabitants of character education land will be happy to receive awards for their exercise of the qualities you urge on them. You won't need awards for your first trip to the country, but be sure you work them into your presentation for succeeding journeys. Remember, a proactive presentation must anticipate the moral needs of your listeners in character education country. It must help them build high moral values before anyone observes a damaging lack of those values. It must plant good trees instead of trying to knock bad fruit off of sick trees. Conclusion Character education teachers are often forced to leave their comfort zones and travel where they don't want to go, becoming accidental teachers of the subject. Such a teacher may enter character education land "with his eyes shut and holding his breath and hanging on for dear life," but he can, if he invests the time and effort, become an accidental teacher of character education who enjoys high esteem and success!
From Dale Carnegie, Napoleon Hill and Samuel Clement Stone to Zig Zigler, Tony Robbins, Jack Canfield, Deepak Chopra and Dr. Wayne Dyer, the message about how to live a life without excuses, doubts, fears and to its absolute fullest has been blasted loud and clear for all of us to hear for a very long time. The global hit movie The Secret, the onslaught of Personal Life Coaches, Wealth Building Warrior intensive weekend retreats and self-help books, videos, web-casts and live seminars generate around $15 billion per years in revenue, just in America alone. What would our world look like today if we all knew this stuff when we were young? If the $15 Billion American adults spend on person growth isn't evidence enough that this message needs to be delivered to young people, perhaps a few statistics might make the message clearer. o Clinical childhood depression diagnosis are at epidemic levels o America has the highest high school drop out rate of any developed nation o Most limiting beliefs and self-doubts develop prior to the age of six o Pessimism is directly linked to clinical depression and anxiety and is highly heritable o Pharmaceutical companies target pre-school for anti-depressants and mood stabilizing drugs o Increases in severity and types bullying are on the rise The WHO (World Health Organization) warns that depression will become the world's second biggest killer and cause of disability by the year 2020. It seems to me quite obvious that the $15 Billion spent each year in America on self-help and personal growth needs to be re-directed toward getting these messages to the young people of America, and obviously around the world for that matter. Plenty of "how to" parenting information is available to teach us how we can model the behavior we want to see in our kids. But for the most part this too is self-help for the grown-up and requires the parent to confront and release their own limiting beliefs, doubts and social programming and develop habits that promote happiness and emotional well-being, before they can effectively use this information to help their kids. I believe our future is dependent upon the Happiness of our young people, for without them we have no future and we should feel obligated to help them find it. Our schools are devoid of character education and our children are missing a window of opportunity to instill the type of intelligence that has nothing to do with academics. Emotional Intelligence has been proven to be far more important to overall happiness and life satisfaction than analytic intelligence or IQ. However, all the books of information, seminars and videos turn out to be ineffective when most of the information rarely or if ever gets acted upon. Lack of action is the biggest issue most people have when it comes to using this information in changing their lives. To master anything in life requires more than just knowing what to do; it requires one to actually DO IT! and to recognize and acknowledge the effort put forth. When we experience the feeling of mastering anything, especially our happiness, we just want it more and more. We start to embrace challenges when we wholeheartedly know that our mistakes and failures are stepping stones to success and part of the learning and growing process. Children are in the midst of absorbing information and developing beliefs about themselves and the big world around them and the life that lay ahead of them. When it comes to learning, children are at the pinnacle of their ability to learn and can absorb far more than I believe we give them credit for. Given the daily pursuit of a child is to experience happiness, and as parents we wish for them a life filled with happiness, giving them the opportunity to learn about and experience all the elements of happiness and to acknowledge unhappiness for what it is provides them an "emotional tool kit" for life. With a little help in the right direction our children can have an abundantly pleasurable, meaningful and engaging life. We can and should give them the tools and teach them how to create for themselves a "good life." Certainly the lack of a stable level of self-esteem is a major reason people find it difficult if not impossible to step outside of what is most comfortable, to face their fears head on and live life to its fullest and happiest. Many children succumb to low and unstable self-esteem every day in school and at home because they are not aware it is the expectations they have of themselves, not the expectations their parents and teachers have of them, that set the stage for an amazing and fulfilling life. A child needs to see and feel their effort pays off and be praised for those efforts rather than praised merely for their successes. Kids start to see how capable they are when they are praised for their effort and dedication, and then they can praise themselves too. They begin to feel good about who they are when they meet the expectations they have set for themselves. This is how a stable level self-esteem is achieved. It's not about "Self-Help" for kids because only after we have grown and we find ourselves in need of help that we actually seek it. By providing our children with the information that we as adults find ourselves seeking, to the tune of $15 Billion per year, our kids will not need "Self-Help" because they will already have the information and turned it into wisdom. So much personal growth material purchased each year goes unused because as adults we have been negatively programmed for so long. Skepticism, pessimism, reinforced self-limiting beliefs, fears and doubts have become so deeply ingrained in our minds over the years that to change becomes more and more difficult. We can protect our world's children from this same emotional fate by giving them the information and tools that have been studied and shared for thousands of years, and now validated by science. Your kids will likely "get it" faster than most of grown-ups you know!