Character is something that can not be taught in a nine week course. It just can't but, you can plant seeds. Seeds will sprout, take root, and grow. Not only did I teach a nine week course on character education, I took any opportunity to incorporate character education into my regular classroom. I talked to my students about issues that were real to them. I listened to them and sometimes interjected my thoughts into these conversations. I wanted my students to know just how much power their words and actions had among their peers. My students would tell me things they observed, things they had heard, and even things they themselves had done or said. I learned so much from these conversations and carry a great deal of that knowledge with me today. Sometimes those same students would come to me with situations even after they were no longer in my class. They would tell me things and seek advise when they felt they need adult intervention. I can not help but think they did this because they knew Mrs. Hill would listen. I wanted them to know that my door and ears were always open. Middle school can be some tough years. Kiddos are really coming into their own during that time and they are trying to find their place among their peers. They are forming their own individual opinions. It is a very impressionable age. Sometimes I would get so frustrated and just want to throw my hands up. There were times when I felt like it was impossible to make a difference. I wanted so badly to make a difference. I wanted to really teach these children as much as possible. I loved my job and loved those kiddos.
I love my job now and love teaching my kiddos. I now have the opportunity to teach character education 24/7. I realize that a great deal of the character education I teach now comes from observation... Observations made by my babies. They watch the way I handle situations and learn how to deal with their own situations based on my actions. I am planting seeds constantly. It is sometimes just exhausting. I wish that I could say that I handle every situation gracefully, but I do not. Every second I spend with my sweetlings is an opportunity to teach them good character. I want them to know and understand that their words and actions affect others. I want them to know that they and they alone are ultimately responsible for their actions. Some of these lessons are taught the hard way through trial and error. Some of these lessons are taught through bible lessons and some are taught through conversation. Those lessons that I learned while teaching in middle school drive a good many of my objectives for teaching character in my kiddos.
Yes ma'am and no ma'am, yes sir and no sir, please and thank you, treat others the way you want them to treat you...these are all great starting points. But, they are just that...starting points.
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
This is the big picture. You reap what you sow. If we sow seeds of regret, bullying, disrespect, sorrow...we will reap the same.
It is my goal to sow seeds of good Godly character in my children.