Character, character, oh my

December 7, 2008

To conclude my blog, I thought it would be nice to blog about two character traits that important to me, can be used in the classroom and are good traits everyone should possess. I have never blogged before this class assignment, but I think it is a great tool for the classroom and life in general. I thought I’d include this great quote from the packet…

“When our wealth is lost, nothing is lost. When our health is lost, something is lost. When our character is lost, all is lost.” – Anonymous


———- INITIATIVE  ———-  

Readiness to take the first steps in beginning  a project or action


You can show INITIATIVE in your life by:

Solving a problem instead of complaining about it.

Trying a new sport or craft that looks fun to you.

Getting a library card and using it to learn something new.

Opening a bank account and saving money towards a goal or dream.

Taking on an additional responsibility at home without being asked.

You can show INITIATIVE at school by:

Joining an extra-curricular activity that you would enjoy.

Asking your teachers what you’ve missed when you’re absent.

Doing your homework and studying for tests.

Being WISE in setting and achieving your goals.

What do you think?

What can I do to make my world better?

What can I do to make my school better?

What do I want to invent? How can I invent it?

Do I take initiative to get my homework done on time? What tools do I have to help me improve my studies?


1. Organize an outing with your family. Plan something fun to do together and make it happen!

2. Talk with an elderly neighbor. Find out what you can do to help them out, then do it.

3. Find out if recycling is required in your community. Take action to increase your recycling at home and at school.

4. Offer to cook dinner for your family one night this week. Plan it out and try making something new.

“Necessity is the mother of invention.” – Author Unknown


———-  TOLERANCE  ———

Willing to accept people and opinions that are different


What does TOLERANCE look like?

Accepting the opinions of others even if you disagree.

Standing up for kids who are being picked on.

Accepting (and even appreciating) difference between yourself and other family members.

Refraining from negative comments about someone’s race, religious practices, or lifestyles.

Take a TOLERANCE test:

1. (T/F) I don’t form opinions about people based on how they dress or their skin color.

2. (T/F) I stand up for kids who are being picked on at school.

3. (T/F) I don’t use negative words to describe people.

4. (T/F) I don’t get mad when someone doesn’t agree with me. Instead, I try to understand that person’s point of view.

5. (T/F) I’m usually patient with the differences between myself and my siblings.

Scoring: Give yourself 1 point for each time you answered with “true.”

5 points: Congratulations! You’re pretty tolerant!

3 -4 points: Make it a goal to improve your level of tolerance.

0 -2 points: Take an honest look at your attitudes. Why is it difficult for you to be tolerant of others?


TOLERANCE: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the Law!

In many areas, anti-hate crimes laws impose extra penalties against people who commit crimes due to intolerance. Are such laws in effect where you live? Find out what laws in your area relate to tolerance.

TOLERANCE in action!

1. Identify two ethnic groups that are different from your own. What contributions does each group make your community? Write a paragraph about how your opinion of these groups has changed as a result of your research.

2. Assume that a new kids just started at your school. Write a paragraph about how you and your friends would react to this person. Then write a paragraph from the new kid’s point of view.

3. Spend an afternoon with an elderly person. Talk about what kinds of prejudices he or she has experienced in life. Does spending with this person help you to be more tolerant of elderly people? Talk with your parents about what you observed.

“The test of courage come when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority.” – Ralph W. Sockman

Important Character

December 6, 2008

As I have said before, character building is an important element of being both a mother and a teacher. And being that today (December 6th, 2008) is my middle son Mikael’s 6th birthday, that “important element” is a major reminder staring me in the face. This set of character building qualities are dedicated to my Mikael, he has a special trait (ADHD) and works hard every day to build up his character. I love you my little monkey man!!!

———-  PERSEVERANCE  ———-

Sticking to a purpose or aim


You can PERSEVERE by:

Not giving up when things go wrong.

Accepting feedback as encouragement to keep trying until you get it right.

Giving 100% to a sport or activity that challenges you.

Being involved in a club or team at school and not quitting.

Setting WISE long-term goals and working towards them.

What do you think?

Do I give up too quickly?

Do I try to accomplish things that I really want?

What do I tell myself I can’t do?

How will sticking with school help me get a job in the future?

Do I start more project than I finish?


1. (T/F) I keep going until I finish assignments and projects.

2. (T/F) If I run into a roadblocks, I don’t usually quit.

3. (T/F) I am willing to accept challenges.

4. (T/F) I work harder at subjects that are difficult for me.

5. (T/F) I ask for help when I need it.

Scoring: Give yourself 1 point for each “true” answer.

5 points: You have a lot of PERSEVERANCE!!!

3 – 4 points: You’ve got the right idea.

1 – 2 points: You’ve got room to improve in this area.

o points: Make it a goal to develop your PERSEVERANCE.


1. I will persevere at home by:


2. I will persevere at school by:


3. Choose something you think you’re not good at. List three actions you can take to improve your skill in this area.




“You can if you believe you can.” – Author Unknown


———-  COURAGEOUS  ———

The ability to face problems directly


You can be COURAGEOUS by:

Not being afraid to be different from everybody else.

Saying no when all your friends are saying yes.

Dealing with problems rather than avoiding them.

Working hard to improve your grades in a difficult subject.

Walking away from a fight.

Trying something new.

Think about it!

Are my friends’ opinions stronger than my own?

Do I have the courage to be different?

Do I stand up for kids who are being pushed around?

What do I say when people make fun of me? Of others?

Do something COURAGEOUS:

1. Think of an on-going conflict you have with someone. Can you ask someone to mediate? What are other ways you can resolve this conflict?

2. Define a project to address a problem in your neighborhood. Take a leadership role in getting help for this problem. Write a letter to an elected representative in your town and ask for their help. Be persistent.

3. Make or buy a type of food that you have never had before. Find someone courageous enough to try it with you.

4. Interview someone in your family or neighborhood who has shown courage. Find out what helped them be courageous.

“It takes as much courage to have tried and failed as it does have tried and succeeded.” – Anne Morrow Lindbergh



More Character…

December 3, 2008

I wanted to with the character building information because I believe that as a teacher, character building and character reinforcing will be a part of our routine in the classroom. I know character building is just one of the important responsibilities I have as a mother, so I believe thats how I have to be a teacher.

———-  RESPECT  ———-

To have high regard for, to hold in esteem, to treat with courtesy and consideration


You can show RESPECT for yourself by:

Getting enough rest and excerise.

Making healthy food choice.

Putting effort into your schoolwork.

Setting short-term and long-term goals.

You can show RESPECT for others by:

Saying please and thank you.

Listening when someone else is talking.

Returning what you borrow.

Using clean language.

You can show RESPECT for your community by:

Making it a habit to pick up litter.

Obeying traffic regulations.

Volunteering with a community organization.

What do you think?

What is the effect of treating others with respect?

Do your room and closet look like you respect your clothes and other possessions?

Do you treat your family and friends with respect?

How can you show respect to paid to serve you, such as the clerk at a fast-food restaurant?

Why is it important to be respectful to elderly people?

Show some RESPECT!

1. Think of three people you know and respect. What character traits cause you to respect them? Write a note to each of these  people and tell them what you respect about them.

2. For 24 hours, keep a log in your agenda books (or journal) of every instance you see someone showing respect for another person. How many times did you observe missed opportunities for showing respect?

3. Pick up litter along your street every weekend for one month. Do you feel different about littering after picking up other people’s trash? (This is a good project to do with friends.)


“There is no happiness for people at  the expense of other people.” – Anwar El-Sadat


———-  JOYFUL  ———-

Showing Happiness and Optimism


You can show JOYFULNESS every day by:

Smiling at people you meet.

Looking on the bright side of things.

Finding reasons to be happy instead of depressed.

Laughing instead of getting mad when things don’t go exactly as planned.

Being pleasant to your brothers, sisters, and parents.

Think about it!

Do I keep myself from feeling joyful?

Do I think its not cool to be joyful?

What do I have to be happy about?

Do I help other people be joyful?

Take a JOYFUL quiz:

1. (T/F)   I am happy most of the time.

2. (T/F)  I don’t get upset when things don’t go my way.

3. (T/F)  I don’t make fun of people when they mess up.

4. (T/F)  I look for ways to make the most of every situation.

5. (T/F)  I am thankful for the opportunities I have.

**Scoring: Give yourself 1 point for each “true” answer.

5 points: Excellent!!! You know how to be joyful.

3 – 4 points: Not bad … you try to be joyful.

1 – 2 points: Make more effort to be joyful this week.

0 points: Could you improve your attitude?????


1. Organize an activity that you could do with a family member that would help them be joyful. How does it make you feel to spread joy?

2. Identify a situation that is difficult for you to be joyful about. List three strategies that can help you find more joy in that situation. Practice those strategies.

3. Research the story of Norman Cousins and how he used joy and laughter to heal himself. Write a paragraph or illustrate his thoughts on joy.

“Of all the gifts bestowed by nature on human beings, hearty laughter must be close to the top.” – Norman Cousins



What is character?

November 23, 2008


While I was attending Mt. SAC, one of my professors showed the class a packet of character building activities and information. I thought it was such a wonderful piece of educational information that I asked him for a copy and would like to share some of my favorites in this blog. I believe it can be incorporated into class rules or expectations for your future students. ** Information taken from Premier School Agendas**

———- OPTIMISTIC ———-

“Looking at the bright side of situations.”

You can demonstrate OPTIMISM by:

  • Making a conscious choice to have a good attitude
  • Choosing to look for the positive in difficult situations
  • Expecting the best from each day and approaching it with enthusiasm.
  • Helping your friends & family find the good in difficult situations.
  • Getting involved with activities that make you feel good about yourself.

Think about it!

  • Are the words I use optimistic or pessimistic?
  • What is my attitude when things do not go as I planned?
  • How does it affect other people when I’m pessimistic?
  • What can I do to get myself out of a pessimistic mood?
  • Does the music I listen to make me feel optimistic or pessimistic?


“I can do anything I set my mind to do.”

“I have a valuable contribution to make.”

“I can be as happy as I choose to be.”

“I can learn.”

“I am important.”

Practice OPTIMISM:

1. Choose an optimistic statement for yourself. Write it in your journal, notebook or agenda book every day; try saying it while looking in the mirror.

2. Write a story or create a short scene about someone with an attitude. Does a person with attitude show optimism? HOw can you approach such a person?

3. Do you see a glass half-full or half-empty? Talk with your family about what this means.

4. Think of your five closet friends. Would you describe your group as optimistic or pessimistic? Get together and talk about each other’s outlook on life.

“Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.” – William James


———- AMBITIOUS ———-

“Having a strong determination to accomplish a goal.”

You can show AMBITION by:


  • Setting SMART short-term and long-term goals for yourself.
  • Keeping track of your progress toward goals.
  • Learning more about a subject that you find interesting.
  • Thinking about what kind of education you want to have and developing a plan to get it.
  • Getting involved in a school leadership program.



  • Am I taking charge for my future?
  • What kind of job/career do I want to have?
  • Do I have goals that I am working toward?
  • Do I believe that I can be anything I want to be?

AMBITIOUS projects:

1. Set five short-term goals for this month. Write them in the weekly goal-setting section of your agenda or in a journal, to remind yourself to work towards them every day.

2. Write a letter to yourself describing what you’ve always wanted to do to be a better person. Read it on the same day next month, and evaluate your progress. Record your “letter-opening” date in your agenda or journal.

3. Interview someone in your family who has achieved something significant. What obstacles did this person have to overcome to achieve his/her ambitions?

4. Choose a subject in which you need to improve. Set a goal for the next grading period. What obstacles do you have to overcome to improve in this subject?

Tie it together!


  • How is optimism related to ambition?
  • Why is dependability important in achieving your ambitions?


“The person who tries to be better than himself is likely to have more success than the other person who tries to be better than someone else.” – Author Unknown



    Balancing act

    November 21, 2008

    As a full-time college student and a married, mom of three kids, sometimes balancing everything into a already busy schedule can be difficult but is possible. So I figured I would share some of the things in which I do and how they could possibly help others.  I believe that the way that I manage my home can be used (with some slight alterations) to manage my classroom. In this blog I plan to offer up some of my tasks and operations and maybe you will be able to understand me and my future teaching skills, a little better.


    —— Manage{Teach}ment #1 ——

    At the beginning of each school year (normally August) I purchase a spiral Weekly/Monthly planner and 6 fine-point gel pens, highlighters and a large pack of medium post-its. I assign a different color to every family member: Black – my husband, Blue – my oldest son, Green – my younger son,  Pink – my daughter, Purple – me and Red – bills

    Using each person’s color I write in their school or work schedule, as well as, doctor appts and school functions. I use the red to mark when bills are due and check them off when they’re paid. I also use the post its to remind me of important dates for that week/day and include our budget and my school assignments and information. 

    — This can be used in the classroom with, of course, some alterations. For example the use of colors per person can be changed to colors per group. Have 6 different groups of your students according to the seating charts or tables and track homework and classwork accordingly. This can also be transferred over onto the computer using the excel program and still color-coordinate by groups.


    —— Manage{Teach}ment #2 ——

    I have always believed that children are never too young to learn responsibility and clean up after themselves and so I offer jobs and payments for them.

    I created a chart for each of my sons with the list of their daily chores and the payment they will receive for each. I don’t give them actual money but we keep a log of their allowances earned, which teaches them math, responsibility and appreciation for hard work. My younger son’s chart is more colorful and has more pictures as descriptions than my older son’s chart does. My children can earn things as small as extra tv time to trips to McDonald’s or chuck E cheese.

    — This can be used in the classroom by way of class “jobs” (the chores) and list the amounts of “class bucks” (money) that can be earned. This teaches your students responsibility and raising their self-worth, while allowing you to manage your classroom in an easier way. The prizes in your classroom are obviously different from what is offered at home, but can still be nice, ranging from pencils to candy bars or even class ice cream parties.

    So there are just 2 of the kinds of management techniques I plan to use in classroom, but more importantly, I use them at home!!! 

    until next time,