Whether you’re aware or not…as parents or educators, you are being watched ALL OF THE TIME and you are shaping the ATTITUDES and BELIEFS of those around you! Children model themselves after the individuals they spend the most time with as well of those they look up to (parents and teachers tend to fall quite easily into this category). As a result, it is our responsibility to model, as much as we can, character that is strong, confident, and swimming in positive beliefs. Children will begin to mimic what they see.
I have found that since Character Education has been introduced into the curriculum, some educators have treated it like a separate entity like they do Math or Science. Some schedule a block of time, or one or two periods a week, for ‘character lessons.’ We have been encouraged over the last few years to integrate subject areas and Character Education should be no exception; it should be embedded into every lesson of every day.
There are simple ways of doing just this.
For example, we had been learning about positive affirmations and we were currently studying addition word problems in class. One morning, the students came into the class to find the following word problem on the blackboard:
Ms. Vetere wanted to experience some beautiful miracles. She began to think about how she might do this. So, she sent 345 positive thoughts out into the world. Next, she repeated 477 positive affirmations in her mind. Finally, she performed 125 random acts of kindness. As a result of these three processes, how many wonderful miracles do you think Ms. Vetere experienced altogether?
You will begin to notice that as you integrate your teachings of character into lessons, your students will integrate their learning into the work that they produce.
For instance, just last week I was teaching a unit on Probability. I gave a booklet to the students where they needed to draw a picture and write a sentence to demonstrate their knowledge of each probability term (certain, unlikely, impossible etc.). The responses were incredible! Almost every student used what they had learned about character and had embedded into their responses.
Here are some wonderful examples:
I am certain that if you throw out a positive thought, the result will come back 10x better.
I am certain that every soul is pure love and is always happy.
It is likely that the angel method will work every time.
We were a little stumped on the term ‘impossible’ because we have spoken so much about how powerful our minds are and that anything is possible. But here is what the 9 years old came up with:
It is impossible for someone to take your hope and faith.
It is impossible for the world to stop changing.
It is impossible to make your very own soul unhappy.
It is impossible for love to disappear.
We teach and we learn in a variety of ways – both direct and indirect. Incorporating and reinforcing your New Age Teaching in all that you do throughout the day will benefit everyone and it is both fun and easy to do!