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

Friday, December 13, 2013

Character Challenge: Courageous

This week’s character trait is Courageous.

Quite often students confuse courageous with reckless and therefore, often approach this trait with the extreme of either shying away or “going overboard.”  The central aspect of this trait is what we all need to help students learn; acting courageously is doing what you believe to be right no matter the opponent and defending those who act in the same fashion.  Take the time and ask your students if they can remember the last time they stood up for something they believed in.  Ask yourself the same question and have a discussion.  I did this the other night and it led to a great conversation about beliefs.  Doing this with people will help build and strengthen relationships as well as your own skill set.

Courage is about pursuing your goals despite any obstacles. A courageous person solves problems rather than avoiding them.  Again, encourage your students to talk to you about the last time they failed and did not try again.  Have them share why that happened.  It is one thing to quote that success consists of falling down nine times and getting up ten, but the reality is different and a lot more difficult.  How many times have you experienced this personally?  That gnawing doubt that makes you hesitate before trying once again to succeed.  Think about it:

·         These students just don’t care about their grades…why should I keep trying?
·         I don’t like what is going on, but I am only one voice…why should I say anything?
·         I tried to integrate technology, but it just doesn’t work…why should I try it again?

Think about it…if you don’t act, try, or at least speak up…nothing changes.  We have to be vigilant in our efforts to continually improve rather than accepting either failure or success as a destination.  As Winston Churchill said; Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to succeed that counts.”

With the proper support, we can all learn to be more courageous, which inevitably leads to a better culture with more successful students.    

When it comes down to it, in school, work, or especially life; we all need to be more courageous if we are to improve the culture in which we reside.  This can be done by standing up for what we believe in; supporting those who are in need; and refusing to give up in any of our pursuits towards bettering our collective situation and environment.

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