Character Education is Everywhere

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 and the Accidental Teacher - Chapter 3

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!

Character Education is Personal Growth For Kids

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!

Character Education That Teens Love!

Character education, when listed on high school curricula, is not likely to generate excitement in teenagers. Having taught high school for years, I know whereof I speak. Teenagers seek independence from parents and are in hot pursuit of adult freedoms. Many rebel against lectures on right and wrong, so how can you find character education they love? Character education is abhorrent to teenagers when they think it is being pushed on them. Just as with many other topics, teens shove back when we drive them toward high moral values. They think they can sort out their own values, and they want no help doing it! The trouble is that teens are incapable of sorting out high moral values for themselves. Those who try to do so will always allow room for their own interests and desires. This is true of people at any age. We all try to fashion standards that make our individual lives as easy as possible. We would like to establish two sets of rules: one for self and one for others. Look at these examples of what can happen when you replace strong character education with personal sorting out of values. · People weaken the definition of honesty to allow wiggle room when they don't want to tell the whole truth. They assign a value that finds no wrong in "white lies," "small fibs," "tact," or a "polite facade" in certain situations. They fully expect, however, that others will be totally honest in dealings with them. · Many decide that it is right to respect some people, wrong to respect those they don't like. They decide that respect must be earned before they are obliged to give it. If someone in authority fails in their eyes to "earn" it, they give no respect. Place the shoe on the other foot, and they demand respect. · Some who sort out their own moral values in place of learning through character education settle for a measure of compassion that falls far short of identifying with people in need, unwilling to sacrifice personal interests to meet the need. If they themselves have a need, of course, they expect others to care - to give help. Character education must not be left to teenagers' own sorting if we expect them to develop into mature adults who live uprightly. Character education must not take teenagers' personal preferences into consideration. "Then where can we find character education programs that teenagers love?" you ask. Character education that teens love comes in under their radar, surprising them with clear, hard-hitting information woven subtly into captivating fiction. It takes from the ancient philosophers the wisdom of conveying high moral values through stories. It uses the same approach that wise men have used for centuries and centuries. It uses stories. Character education that teens love is based on moral stories. Ancient Moral Stories Most of us have learned moral values from ancient stories. For example: 1. Have you ever heard the story of "King Midas and the Golden Touch?" That story was used to teach high moral values to young people in ancient Greece. It taught them in a memorable way that greed is wrong. Period. Full stop. It was an ancient character education story. 2. You probably have read "The Boy Who Cried Wolf," haven't you? That was one of the fables of Aesop, a Greek who lived between 620 and 560 BC. Aesop used a lot of stories to teach young people about high moral values. This one taught, of course, that honesty is vital at all times. It, too, was a character education story that made the lesson easy to learn and memorable. 3. Perhaps you have read the story of "The Good Samaritan." Jesus told it to teach adults and young people alike the importance of exercising compassion and love toward everyone, regardless of who it is. This, too, was a character education story; easy to hear and easy to remember. Modern Moral Stories You will say that modern teens don't want fables. I know. Remember, I taught high school for years. Teens today want stories that portray believable teens with whom they can identify. They want hot teen topics. They want excitement, adventure, romance, and all that the world of entertainment has taught them is important. Character education books are the answer. They must be books that are written explicitly for the purpose of teaching high moral values. Such purpose-written books provide what teens need in a format that teens love - entertainment. Purpose written character education books should never stoop to the low standards of the entertainment world lest they lose their own integrity. They can, however, captivate teenagers and help them learn high moral values in a way that they will remember. Conclusion Character education books such as those described have actually become bestsellers in the past years, showing that teens love to learn about high moral values when the topic is presented in the right way. The ancient teachers have shown us the way.

Bring About a Change in Your Kids With Character Education

"Try not to be a person of success, but rather a person of virtue." - Albert Einstein Who doesn't want their kids to inculcate positive character traits? But often in a fit to inculcate all possible character traits in our kids we end up in a mess. This is not done and that too when it comes to the future of your kids. Instead why not take a different approach or rather why not start slow with character education. By starting off slow, your kids will be able to grasp the virtues more comfortably and a greater speed. You can initially start off with the following virtues: Self discipline is possibly the backbone of character education. Hence, make sure to teach your kid to be self disciplined. Being compassionate would be a plus point. Make your kid understand the suffering or pain that an individual undergoes. All understanding wont do, ask him/her never to back off when it comes to helping those in need. Teach your kids the benefits of being responsible. Cite examples if needed. For instance, if he/she has promised somebody to accomplish a task within a stipulated time frame then make sure that they complete it within the deadline rather than delaying. Is your kid friendly? Being friendly is the greatest virtue. A good friend is one who stands for his peer no matter what the situations are or you can say that a good friend is one who protect his/her friend from getting bullied. So, make sure your kid turns out to be a good friend. Teach your kid to maintain a positive attitude and gives his/her very best. Even if your kid finds any task daunting ask him/her not to back off. With sheer perseverance on their part they are sure to reap the benefits of success. Even if your kid is scared of taking the plunge, you need to be there beside his side so that he doesn't feel scared or feels lonely. Instead teach him to stand up for a thing if he thinks that it's right. It would be foolish on anybody's part to believe that success can be attained in one night. This is certainly not the truth. Instead one needs to put in his her best efforts to achieve the desired. Be sure that your kids are aware of this fact as well. Teach your kid to be honest and loyal to his own self as well as to others. Ask your kid to have faith in the Almighty as He is there to take care of everybody's need. Violence, profanity, to a name a few are a couple of negative traits that your kids should avoid. Be sure that your kids maintain a safe distance from tobacco, alcohol and drugs. In a nutshell, ensure that they maintain a safe distance from illegal substances or abusive language. These are only a couple of values and virtues that you need to inculcate in your kids. Once they develop these positive traits to the fullest, you can begin with the next phase of character education.

What is Character Education?

Have you ever asked the question "what is character education" and wondered whether it is something that is important, or relevant to you? It can be described this way: "a deliberate and conscious effort to learn and develop virtues, and values, that are good for you and good for society." So yes, it is important. And, it's something to be aware of as you raise your children. Most people agree that academic achievement is important. But character development is equally important, if not more so. Even if a child doesn't do well academically, their character will still determine how well they do in life. Throughout the world there are many values that are common to all cultures. These virtues include: Upholding human dignity. Helping to promote the well-being of an individual, as well as society. Being clear to ourselves about our rights and obligations. Treating people in the way you would wish to be treated. Behaving in a way, in a given situation, in which you would wish all people to behave given the same set of circumstances. In other words, character education is about learning and building any or all of the following traits: Honesty Initiative Integrity Optimism Perseverance Respect Responsibility When someone describes another person, they do so by describing their character. That person's character is defined by a certain set of qualities, habits or attributes which they possess, and by which they are judged. Children naturally want their days to be filled with happiness, fun, and playfulness. Unfortunately, not all children achieve these wants and grow up having negative thoughts and beliefs about themselves and the world. The good news is that with the right training, these negative thoughts and beliefs can be changed and children can learn to develop positive beliefs about themselves. They can also start to experience feelings of optimism about their future and their life. This type of education gives kids a chance to grow up into happy, well-adjusted, well-rounded adults. They will be able to deal with everyday situations in a positive manner which is beneficial to themselves and those around them. There's no reason you should be embarrassed about character education. <=Click here to get the information you need to effectively teach your kids character. If you're ready to read more about how our book An Exercise in Happiness can help you with character education teachings, visit our character education page and download our free eBook The Ultimate Guide to Kid's Happiness. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now.

How Can Character Education Help Kids Learn?

For years, the common belief was that success stems from academic achievement and rote memorization. Kids were put through rigorous programs of memorization and fact-specific testing, all the while ignoring one of the most important parts of development and emotional intelligence. Character education, one of the most important parts of development, has been left out of many kids' lives, and using some simple tools, you can add it to your child's learning curriculum and create self confidence, drive and ambition, and accelerated emotional intelligence in your child. The major influences in any child's life aren't the faceless academics and rigorous examples that have been pushed through the school system. Coaches, parents and teachers all form massively important connections in any child's mind, and in many ways shape their future much more than the content of their education possibly can. There are thousands of parallels that can be drawn between life and sports, and they only prove to demonstrate that the ties between coaching and achievement, and children's development are so incredibly close. Think about it this way -- what do we look for in stories? It's rarely the characters themselves, but the themes that they're driven by and the decisions that they make. Coaches and teachers are such an important influence in the lives of our children not because they teach them specifics and minutiae, but because the information that they share builds the power of character, and creates the driving forces required for both academic and ultra-practical success. Narrative stories are such a common historical reference point because they put people in touch with the actions and decisions of real characters, leaving the message much more clear. People learn through observing actions, which is why forming a character education program for your child is so essential. As more and more adults struggle with personal fulfillment and happiness, the need to instill good character in children is growing more and more crucial. From early childhood all the way through to late adolescence, the influence of direct character education to children is remarkably powerful. While it's hard to remember early childhood, it's not difficult to relate to how some children process information. When influences aren't clear, it's easy for them to run into dilemmas in thinking. If you want your child to have clear emotional intelligence, start with solid character education programs. There's no reason you should be embarrassed about character education. <=Click here to get the information you need to effectively teach your kids character. If you're ready to read more about how our book An Exercise in Happiness can help you with character education teachings, visit our character education page and download our free ebook The Ultimate Guide to Kid's Happiness. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now.