Arlene is on the SCENE

Character Development in Education

Posted on: January 4, 2013

Just read a great post on overcoming resistance to emotional and social character development in schools. You’d think there wouldn’t be resistance, but ah, there is indeed.

I find with my own kids, as well as those I work with in schools, that social-emotional character development happens sporadically, unpredictably. Thus, I don’t think we can compartmentalize education to such an extent that we don’t address character development in our classrooms. We’ll miss too many opportunities! Character development, especially with those tweens and teens, is about NOT talking about it. Or talking sideways about it. It’s made up of planting seeds, which you may not be present to see blossom.

I can understand the resistance. I’m not ready to hand over character development of my own kids to their teachers. But that’s where home-school communication is key. Just as teachers have to earn the trust and respect of their students, there’s trust that needs to be built within the parent-teacher relationship as well. Unfortunately, I’m finding as my kids get older, there’s less interaction between home and school. Just when our kids need character development the most!

I like the idea of bringing back character development in schools for this new year. I’m going to try to visit as many schools as possible in 2013 to talk about Arlene and the social-emotional lessons within its pages. And maybe I should reach out to my own kids’ teachers. Start the new year building a better relationship with them so we can work together to combine intelligence and character within our schools.

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