All students will achieve their maximum potential by becoming responsible, productive citizens and life-long learners.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Character Project: Punctual

This is quite possibly one of the largest issues facing schools today with the exception of various state and federal initiatives.  No matter what conference or workshop I attend, talk concerning attendance and tardy issues eventually surfaces.  For example:

·         I personally stress to both parents and students that they need to be here and be on time to get the most out of their education.

·         The legislature has overhauled the CHINS process to focus on truancy prevention rather than forced compliance through consequences.

·         Our school policy concerning these two issues has grown to include parent conferences, office detentions, and social probation.

·         Research shows the importance of student attendance and punctuality and schools have large databases (including large amounts of paperwork) in place to track students on this very topic.

We all know these issues, parents acknowledge these issues and yet our students continue to come late and miss days.  Hence, the need to include punctuality as a character trait.  The truth is we can attempt to extrinsically motivate students to attend school regularly and on time, but most know that intrinsic motivation is the key.  Students have to want to be present and punctual.  This can be accomplished through programs and school offerings, but ultimately it must come from the character of the student involved.  The idea of being present or on time has to be ingrained to the point that students feel uncomfortable with the idea of being late.

The question remains:  How do we accomplish the creation of intrinsic motivation in our students?

The answer is simple to acknowledge, but often difficult to perform.  It is the same way we improve students’ character and as a result, the culture.  We must model the behavior we seek to achieve consistently and over a prolonged period.  In short, we must make the trait part of our character and then put it on display.

If I have made an appointment with you, I owe you punctuality, I have no right to throw away your time, if I do my own...” -Richard Cecil

 Here is the announcement read to the school for the fourth week of the challenge:

Good morning.  I wanted to start this week’s announcement by saying I was successful with the controlled trait, however a mid-week incident with the TV remote was almost my undoing.  I would have never thought I was that attached to it…anyways…enough of that…let’s move forward.

The rest of this announcement will be brief in an effort to help teachers be punctual and start their classes on time!

That’s right…punctual…or simply put, on time.

This is week four and our focus is being punctual.

Being Punctual means:

  • Being in your seat when class starts…not running through the door to beat the bell
  • Turning in assignments when they are due
  • Arriving to commitments on time or a little early
You know what else?  You are not only being responsible when you exercise self-control and are punctual, but respectful of other people’s time as well.  The reason all of these traits are connected is because they all contribute to good character.

So here is what to do today.  Make a list of events for which you need to be on time.  I mean everything like school, classes, your job, and yes, even handing in assignments!  Now set a goal to be on time (or punctual) for everything.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What adjustments can I make to my schedule that will help me be more punctual?
  • How does being punctual show responsibility?
  • Is it ever really ok to be late?
Strategies to use:

  • Use your agenda or any calendar
  • Plan ahead for scheduled events
  • Create routines

One way to really understand the importance of this trait is to remember how you feel when someone you are depending on is late.  That is how they feel when you do it to them.

Try sharing what you are doing to improve your character with your teachers this week.  Better yet, show them…

We are all doing a good job, let’s keep up the good work…


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