Webster’s defines Character as moral excellence and firmness. A person of high moral character will not compromise their ideals for anyone or anything. When a situation arises you can depend on them to see it through the end. Wavering is not in their tool box because they stand tall in the storm. Bending to whims is not an available option when life becomes tough. As an educator, I speak to my students about developing character on a consistent basis. In actuality most children don’t have the faintest idea what good character means or resembles and must be taught how to develop it and recognize it in other people.
I will touch upon three concepts that I believe are important for the development of character in children. Trust is in my opinion one of the most important. If a person is not considered trust worthy, it makes it hard to create friendships or other relationships. Children must understand that when they make a commitment it must be followed thru. If it’s not they may never get another opportunity to prove themselves again. Another Key concept is respect and it must be earned. It’s a standard principal that one must treat others as they want to be treated. If you treat someone badly and call them profane names, you can expect the same from them. Furthermore, children must be taught tolerance when it comes to people’s differences because they would want the same from others. Responsibility is the last concept and it’s the one that my students have the most problem with. Taking responsibility for one’s actions seems like a hard idea for them to accept. It’s often another person’s fault why they are in trouble. Sometimes my students have done things on a whim and didn’t take time to think about what could happen. They were not responsible enough to weigh the possible negative outcomes and stay out of adverse situations.
Character education is important and we should offer it more in our nation’s public schools. Unfortunately we cannot depend on parents to offer instruction in good character traits. I honestly believe if we begin teaching these ideas in kindergarten and all thru secondary we can diminish a great deal of discipline problems in our schools. Children would think before acting in anger and maybe develop a solution to deal with the problem without resorting to violence. Character education can create student leaders and problem solvers instead of a bullies and problem makers.