Today is a day we are excited to celebrate as people all over the globe will be participating in #CharacterDay2017 created by Let it Ripple. The goal of Character Day is to spend time within your classroom, school, home...really anywhere, discussing what it looks like to focus on improving one’s character. Let it Ripple has quite a few free resources, including this great video called “The Science of Character” that you can show in your classes today. The video points out what we know to be true, that if you focus on character traits and intentionally look at how you can improve them, an individual can strengthen their character thus improving their own lives, but those around them as well.
At CharacterStrong we believe Character Day should be something our students get everyday. We believe that students want to BE good, they just don’t always know what “good” looks like or how to practice it. Not every student is given the tools or the opportunity to be kind, compassionate or selfless people. Students need to be shown real and practical ways to improve their character by serving those around them and choosing to do small acts for others, which in turn will start to strengthen their character muscle.
A speaker named Keith Hawkins once asked an audiences of thousands of students in California - how many of you, in the last month, had someone in your family ask you “what did you do for others today?” Not one hand went up.
Our world and our culture has lost sight of what is important! We have convinced our children and ourselves that the most important person in the world is ME. That you are your brand. That you are special. That it is all about you. It is our responsibility as educators to get students thinking past themselves and focusing on their relationships with others, their families, their communities, and ultimately their world. We need to teach students to live from the inside out, where my values and who I want to be drive my actions, versus the outside in, where others and situations determine my actions.
Today, we challenge you to present one of our CharacterDares from our Advisory Curriculum, to your students today or this week. Get them to think a little bit more about others today! Present the CharacterDare and give students the opportunity to do the challenge!
After presenting the Dare come back to it at the start of class the next day and allow your student's to reflect using our Truth or Dare process where every students has a voice in the reflection by either sharing their truth, which is what they think of the CharacterDare, or reflect on what they learned from choosing to attempt the CharacterDare.
Don’t forget to share out how you are talking about character today in your building by using #CharacterDay2017 #CharacterStrong #CultivatingCharacter
John Norlin is a Co-Founder of CharacterStrong, a Servant Leadership trainer, and motivational speaker. He was Washington Advisor of the Year, taught 5 leadership classes per semester for 10 years at Sumner High School, and was a Program Administrator for the Whole Child for five years.