Recently, a weber school district leader said, “We need to give more emphasis to establishing a stronger moral culture in WSD where students and staff value integrity, civility, self-discipline, service and a strong work ethic; where the opportunities we enjoy in this country are cherished; and where people are responsible, and respect and care about others. Aristotle taught that people do not naturally or spontaneously grow up to be morally excellent or practically wise. They become so, if at all, only as the result of a lifelong personal and community effort. As educators and leaders, we have a responsibility to help students understand what it means to be productive, contributing and caring citizens.”
This year, I invite each you to be a part of a simple virtue-driven educational highlight here at Sand Ridge Junior High School called “The Character Club”. Research indicates that character development in youth, ages 12-15 is critical and timely (see link http://charactercounts.org/programs/reportcard/index.html) and even more research indicates that if there is no character education in a kid’s life, nearly every antisocial problem increases (e.g. theft, truancy, drugs, pregnancy, etc). The research is conclusive… leaders such as teachers and coaches can have an incredibly powerful, positive impact on the character of our students in educational (and extracurricular) settings. Primarily because the mentor/modeling relationship between teacher and student has so much potential morally, negating this responsibility/opportunity means a missed opportunity to impact the life of our children!