Thursday, December 15, 2011

Character education

Although I felt very rushed trying to learn all of this information for the final, there were several things that grabbed my interest, character education being one of them.  For my Motor Development class here at SUNY Cortland, I had the opportunity to help out at the CHAMP afterschool program at JM McDonald Sports Complex here in Homer.  It was an amazing experience and I learned several things, the importance of character education being one of them.  At the programs they were constantly introducing the children to different core values.  Although it is not the best written essay that I have ever done, I believe that my question that I completed on the final for this class contained a lot of good ideas for implementing character education so I wanted to share my essay with you.  By the way- this is a big step for me- the fact that I thought about how much I wanted to make sure and put my essay on my blogspot.  Here it is: 
The path to moral education that appeals to me most is character education.  According to Wikepedia, “Character education is an umbrella term loosely used to describe the teaching of children in a manner that will help them develop variously as moral, civic, good, mannered, behaved, non-bullying, healthy, critical, successful, traditional, compliant and/ or socially acceptable beings.  I believe that it is so crucial that we help children build good character so that can become outstanding citizens.  Character is, after all, one of the three C’s that we learn here at SUNY Cortland that are crucial in a child’s education.  I think that it is so important to teach children core values such as respect, trustworthiness, fairness, team work, responsibility, caring, and good citizenship so that they can use them in their everyday lives.  As a PE teacher, I will make sure and introduce character education at a young age when children are most susceptible to change.  I will introduce these core values into the lesson that I teach them.  My plan is to introduce them to a different core value every couple of weeks, making sure to implement it into my lesson.  I will take five minutes before my lesson to have a class talk with them, introducing them to the new core value and explaining what it means.  I will make sure and give them plenty of examples and then ask them to come up with some examples of their own.  Throughout the lesson, I will look for chances to “catch” the students using that core value and verbally praise them.  Each time that I introduce a new core value to them I will make a colorful mini poster with the word on it.  By the end of the year, there will be several colorful mini-posters all around the gymnasium with the different core values on them.  I will make sure to use all of the core values that have been introduced sporadically throughout the school year to make sure that they have truly learned the meaning of the core values.  I might even devise some sort of a reward system where they child receives something if I catch them using the core value in class to encourage appropriate behaviors.  Another thing I would do is to put on a community benefit run of some sort and encourage my students to participate.  I would talk to them about what the benefit is for and how their help in the run is a demonstration of good character.  I could also have them help in organizing a food drive to help those in need or have them write letters to our men in the military overseas.  After completing my 256 and 355 observations, it is obvious to me that many children are lacking that structure in their home lives and could use some work on developing their characters for the best.  As a teacher candidate, I can hardly wait for the day that I able to implement all of this into my own classes.  Knowing that we are many kids’ mentors, It is so crucial that we help to model them into the good citizens that they should be.

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