Learn all you need to know about character values and bullying!
There is much that teachers can do to help children learn important character values such as perseverance, consideration, courage, patience and tolerance. It is not easy and it will take time and continued instruction, but the rewards are more than worth the effort. Helping children not only learn scholastic subjects but also gain a strong moral foundation will help the children behave better in class, be happy and well adjusted and go on to a successful future.
Character values and Bullying: Setting an Example
The most important thing is for the teacher to set a good example for his or her class. A teacher who uses swear words should not be surprised when students do the same. Teachers who put students down for any reason will also find that the students themselves will be more prone to bullying and other unkind behavior than they would have been otherwise.
However, the most important aspect of setting a good example for students is a teacher’s willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty. Students will only respect a teacher if they know that the teacher cares about them personally and wants to help them to succeed. A teacher may need to devote extra time to helping students who are doing poorly in class. They will need to find ways to reach students who are exhibiting poor moral behavior and help them understand why change is important and in fact in their best interests. In short, a teacher will have to earn the respect of students by his or her words and deeds in order to successfully help them build a strong moral foundation.
Character values and Bullying: Get the Parents Involved
Getting the parents involved is a must. Teachers should explain to parents that they are making an effort to teach moral values to the children and explain to the parents which particular value or values the class will be focusing on at any given time. Parents can back up what the teacher is teaching by not allowing a child to get away with inappropriate behavior at home and by rewarding a child who is obviously making an effort to put what he or she is learning in school into practice.
Some parents may be concerned about whether or not religion will play a role in the moral values course. If the school in question is a Christian one, then character education will naturally go hand in hand with learning to ask God’s help in order to make the right choices. However, religion does not necessarily need to play a leading role in a moral education course that is being given at a public school to children from different religious backgrounds. Teachers should be prepared to show parents any materials that are being used so that parents can rest assured that the course does not contravene any religious or cultural instruction the child is receiving at home.
Character values and Bullying: Making it Fun
Make character education fun for children by allowing them to act out what they are learning and/or play other fun games that will help them learn important behavioral principles. For instance, children who are learning to speak in a polite manner can do role play and practice speaking with classmates in an appropriate way. Acting out situations where honesty, patience and tolerance must be exhibited is also a great way to help children learn these values.
There are also numerous games that require children to put into practice the moral values that they are learning in class. Team games, for instance, help children to learn the value of working together in teamwork to achieve a common goal. A challenging game helps children learn perseverence. Choose a wide variety of games so that all children will be able to excel in at least one game, as this helps to boost a child’s self esteem.
Character values and Bullying: Praise and Appreciation
It has been said that it is better to praise a child for his or her good behavior than it is to scold a child for his or her bad behavior. Children thrive on praise, so be sure to praise every single effort a child makes to exhibit sound character traits in the classroom. Do not wait for a child to do something grand; small acts of kindness such as picking something up for a classmate, smiling at a new student and apologizing for a mistake are all worthy of praise and recognition.
Keep a rewards chart in a prominent place and be sure to mark a child’s good deeds on the chart. Such a chart not only encourages children who are making an effort to learn good moral values to do even better but also puts some positive peer pressure on those who could be making more of an effort to put what they are learning into practice. Children who do well should be given a reward that has been agreed upon in advance.
Character values and Bullying: Starting Out
A teacher who is new to teaching moral values may feel that this is a daunting task. Making a plan is always a good idea and will help a teacher to impart the values in a fun and coherent way.