3 Phases, 10 Steps
At Characterstrong, we believe in Low-burden, High-impact (LoHi) tools and strategies for educators to intentionally and effectively do this critical work. We’ve outlined the 10 Steps we’ve seen work to most effectively "Infuse Social Emotional Learning & Character Development into the Daily Fabric of your School.” Each step lives in one of three categories: Clarity, Competence, Consistency. We have tools and resources for each component to help you make a positive and sustainable impact on your culture starting now.
Phase 1: Clarity
The most critical first step when working on something as sprawling and abstract as school culture is to establish a common language and shared vision for this work - do students and staff know what the work is and why it is important? What to expect: Step 1: Educator 1 or 2 Day Trainings - This training is designed to get a small group of individuals on your campus prepared to begin the work of culture development and intentional implementation. Step 2: Professional Development - Our professional development is designed to make sure everyone is on the same page for the purpose and the practice of implementation and to create critical buy-in “fuel in the tank” - to do this work with fidelity and enthusiasm. Step 3: School Assemblies - When we can get both students AND staff speaking a common language and feeling inspired to dig into the challenging work of character development, we set the stage for whole school change.
Phase 2: Competence
Believing in something doesn’t guarantee we know how to do that thing well. How do we explicitly and implicitly teach the behaviors and skills we want to see demonstrated by students AND adults in a building? What to expect: Step 4: MS Advisory, HS Advisory, Elementary Toolkit - This content was built to support the whole child and created for teachers by teachers who know intimately the challenges of creating an effective advisory program that works. Step 5: Leadership Curriculum - This curriculum was built over 10 years in the classroom by John Norlin where he taught 5 sections of leadership a day with the goal of making sure everyone knew how to use their influence and leadership effectively and positively. Step 6: CharacterStrong Gym - Social-emotional and character resources are everywhere across blogs and books. We’ve put the very best content at educator’s fingertips so that it is easy to find and easy to use.
Phase 3: Consistency
A systematic approach to an otherwise abstract process of culture-change, we help schools measure each of the four CharacterStrong Core Components through simple implementation guides and reliable data-gathering techniques. What to expect: Step 7: CS Implementation Fidelity Rubric - A systematic approach to an otherwise abstract process of culture-change by measuring the thoughtful rollout of research-backed relational strategies and reliable data-gathering techniques. Step 8: Building Capacity - By sending more educators to our 1 or 2-Day Educator Trainings, you empower more people to take deep ownership. Step 9: Follow Up Professional Development to Recalibrate, Review, & Reflect - Our follow-up professional development days solidify previous learning and expand on our most high-leverage strategies to make sure your staff maintains strong enthusiasm and execution. Step 10: Ongoing Assemblies - With a consistent theme of “Making Kindness Normal,” our student assemblies reinforce the message from varied perspectives. We want students to see people of different backgrounds sharing what Kindness means to them.