There are two faces to the academic accountability phenomenon. On the one hand there is the reductionist perversion of education that is often referred to as high stakes testing. You know, the governmental requirements to evaluate schools based on some narrow and questionable metrics, usually statewide academic test scores, coupled with little of the carrot and lots of the stick.Read More
What's Happening in Character?
We all watch others. Sometimes we see good actions we want to emulate, and other times we see actions that are driven by selfish behavior. This is life—and life is embedded with choices. Other than our homes, there is no place better than our schools to start understanding what those choices look like. This is why the focus on building community within our schools is critical because it is people-focused and relationship-driven. Building community is a dynamic process that creates reasons to focus beyond self while embracing respect for the presence of others. The choices we make during challenging seasons in life define our character.Read More
Have you ever had a moment when you felt utmost genuine thankfulness? The kind of thankfulness that lifts up your spirit to rest in continuous gratitude.
Now think about a moment when you were acquainted with hardship--the kind when you experienced devastations and throttles that made it hard to utter words of thanks.
My question for you is this: has it ever been easy to give thanks in both of these circumstances?Read More
Each morning, the George Washington Bridge is my gateway—my means of access to New York City and more importantly my school— St. Hope Leadership Academy Charter School. If I depended on one path or gateway to the bridge, I would likely arrive at my destination a few hours late or not at all. However, in the age of navigation apps, I am thankful for the multiple paths and gateways I have to reach various destinations.Read More
The 11 Principles of Effective Character Education offers a comprehensive roadmap to building a culture of character in your school or organization. It is a research-based, proven framework that supports character development by guiding the implementation of core values and embedding character into every aspect of your school or organization’s culture.Read More
In one generation, the nature of youth sports has changed dramatically. To illustrate my point, I want to paint my childhood experience (k-8th grade). Almost every day on the bus ride home from school, we voted on the sport we were going to play and the meeting point. We played all kinds of sports – football, basketball, baseball, kickball, tennis, and hockey. We loved it. It was fun, competitive and free. We made our own rules and settled our own disputes.Read More
Over 15 years of experience in diverse Human Resources disciplines coupled with family, school, and social environments have shaped and grounded my core character skills. I am often center stage for myriads of conversations on how best to identify key character or social skills for student and adult learners. Yet, organizations and schools tend to prioritize academic and professional competencies as the dominant requisites for impactful life and workplace success. Likewise, exhibitions of noble character skills directly correlate to workplace success.Read More
As I sit and stare at this super-bright screen and this starkly-blank sheet, I’m feeling unsure that my words can do my feelings justice as I count down the days to this year’s annual Forum.
I first attended the National Forum as a vendor with my friends at Character Counts! in 2004 because it was held in Houston near my home. I won’t ever forget the incredible networking opportunity to listen and understand how character educators were weaving core values into the very fabric of their character building. I left that Forum fired up to lead the charge that would reignite the embers our community stakeholders had set aglow back in 1987. That was when a group of 120 concerned citizens decided on fourteen virtues that would serve as the foundation while we strived to educate the whole child.Read More
3 letter acronyms (along with selfie’s, snapchats, and poop emoji’s) are taking over the world.
Instead of running from this phenomenon, I’ve decided to add my contribution to the mix.
“BCQ!” Build. Connection. Quickly. Let me explain…
When I’m speaking to students in schools, (schools just like your schools) many days I’ll ask…
“How many of you, when you heard you were coming down to the auditorium to hear a ‘motivational speaker,’ thought to yourself, ‘this is going to be the longest 45 min’s of my life?’”
Nearly every hand shoots up in the air. It’s like I’m at an auction and EVERYONE is bidding.
As Chairman of the National Family Engagement Alliance, I spend a lot of time thinking about how educators can foster an educational environment that encourages meaningful family involvement. Every day, we work towards the development of positive and trusting relationships between educators, parents, students, and community advocates. For educators, it’s important to be a guiding force for the development of character in young people, and it’s essential to ensure those lessons are reinforced at home and practiced in everyday life.Read More