“‘Integrity’ is doing the right thing when nobody is looking.”–C.S. Lewis
Our character is what gives us the wisdom and moral compass to do the right thing. It makes us unique and guides us through an upstanding life with purpose. Character is developed as we grow and learn about the world around us, about the lives of the people in our modern world as well as those that came before us who struggled and persevered through adversity and hardship. It is not about behavior modification. It is about discovery, contemplation, learning, and acting.
Character In Schools
School isn’t just math, reading, and science. There’s more to a school than grades and test scores as children grow and develop their social skills and begin to discover they live in a world that is larger than their own. Character development doesn’t stop when children go through the school doors. In fact, teaching the importance of character in school is essential because school is where children are on there own to make decisions determined by their character such as how they will interact and treat other students.
Our character is our internal motivation. If we’re going to have a population of people of character, we need to incorporate it into their education from the start and continue throughout the school years, keeping it a constant in the classroom.
Show students good role models. Tell their stories that show their character. Reflect on how it compares with today and ask students to put themselves in their shoes.
Stress inclusion. Make sure all students are involved in the activities even if accommodations need to be made.
Help others. Create projects for students that help the school, the community, or others in need.
Have a zero-tolerance classroom for bad character. Bad behavior, making fun of others, and disrespect of other people’s feelings should never be tolerated.
Recognize good character. Adjust recognition programs to include not only recognition for academic, artistic, or athletic achievements but also achievements that demonstrate good character.
Share stories. Choose read-aloud stories that have a moral that can be discussed and related to their own lives.
Incorporate it into other subjects. Do character studies of influential people in math, literature, and science. Integrate it into everything and have constant conversations about honesty and integrity and making the right choices.
EAGLE Schools’ Commitment to Character
At EAGLE College Preparatory Schools, we strive to help our students along their journey to a greater purpose which is why we support the Character Formation Project. Through this project, EAGLE students answer the questions:
Who am I?
Why am I?
What type of person am I going to be?
How am I doing at living my purpose?
Character is held in your Identity, Actions, and Purpose. By understanding influential people’s pain and struggles through their personal stories, students begin to understand that there are things that are bigger than themselves and learn to act on what they’ve learned about themselves and their greater purpose. For more information on this wonderful program, visit mycharacterformation.org.
EAGLE College Preparatory Schools is a public charter school enrolling St. Louis students in grades K8. We focus on character-building along with the highest standard of academics for all our students, all in a loving and supportive learning environment. For more information on how to join the EAGLE Schools family, visit our website at or call us at (314) 664-7627.