A Healthy Amount of Curiosity Never Killed The Cat

A Healthy Amount of Curiosity Never Killed The Cat

Our 4th new character skill was curiosity. This one was especially hard to teach because so many students were taught that curiosity would get them into trouble. I had to reframe their thinking into remembering that curiosity leads us to learn new things. All learning starts when we are first curious about something.  Read more

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Today is Wonderful Because . . .

Today is Wonderful Because . . .

I got a little bit ahead of myself when I posted my zest article . . . I went ahead and assumed that my optimism lesson wasn’t that good because I never had any student work to prove that it went well . . . and then I discovered a sneaky little pile of paper that proved me wrong!

There tucked safely away, was a month’s worth of optimism lessons. Just sitting there optimistically awaiting their finding. So after reviewing what I actually taught and looking at the work samples, I was surprised to see just how awesome the lesson actually was! Cue “Everything is Awesome” song in your head . . . . and scene . . . Read more

Everything is Awesome

Everything is Awesome

Back in December, I switched my character skills to some that might have more learning potential than our original 6 traits that we practiced in the past. You may remember my post about this. We began with Grit, moved into Optimism, and then on to Zest. Read more

Promoting Your Program Through Monthly Newsletters

Promoting Your Program Through Monthly Newsletters

I apologize for the throughly lame title to this post . . . but I honestly couldn’t think of a cute, witty title  . . . Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, I promise this will be worth the read!

Last year, I started writing up monthly newsletters for the parents. I wanted to promote my program, so they knew what their child was learning during “Character Education.” During my first year of counseling (as the first counselor at the school), I kept battling parents who were truly angry when they heard their child came to see me or that I went into the classroom to teach a lesson. They figured if their child saw the counselor then there was one of two problems:

1. Their child was spilling all the family secrets

and/or

2. Something was wrong with their child and he would come talk to me

and inadvertently, even though he was only 4, he would spill all the family secrets. Read more

Emotional Needs of Boys

Emotional Needs of Boys

Three weeks ago today, I was asked to speak at my school’s Benefactor Dinner. They asked that I speak about how my program addresses the emotional needs of boys. I was about one second away from declining due to my fear of speaking in front of more than 1 person . . . an introvert’s nightmare. Give me 100 children, I’ll sing and dance for you, but a room full of adults, the most influential adults in our school community? Ya I’d turn that down, sweat through 15 shirts, and nearly have a panic attack . . . instead I said yes . . . sweat through 2 shirts, nearly had a panic attack, and settled for a glass of wine to cool my nerves instead. Read more

Go Out and Be Gritty!

Go Out and Be Gritty!

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 11.00.41 AMAfter attended the positive psychology session at the TCA conference this year, I came back and changed the last 6 character traits of the year. I had stuck to the normal 9 respect, fairness, responsibility, cooperation, caring, courage, trustworthiness, dignity, excellence, and citizenship for the last 2 years. Now I changed the traits, not because these 9 traits are bad . . . because honestly they are not at all, in fact if one human could have all 9 of these traits they’d be a hero, but I changed the traits because I teach all boys. Read more

The Importance of Play in Elementary Schools

The Importance of Play in Elementary Schools

I was currently published in the International Journal of Play Therapy for my research done during my graduate work at the University of Saint Thomas. I focused my research on the effectiveness of using play activities during small group lessons to help improve appropriate classroom behaviors. I wish I could freely share my research here, but I think the IJPT wouldn’t appreciate that much. Please take some time to look for it though. The article title is Examining the Use of Play Activities to Increase Appropriate Classroom Behaviors. Below I have given you excerpts from the unedited version of my manuscript, including all the research I did on people who previously utilized play in schools. Read more