Character & Moral Education
Updated: Feb 23
This summer, we read the book I Wish My Teacher Knew: How One Question Can Change Everything for Our Kids by Kyle Schwartz. One of the topics discussed in this book is Character and Moral education. Keep reading to see what some of the ambassadors' takeaways on this topic were!
"As teachers, we have the opportunity to be an influence for good in the lives of our students. Part of this is helping them develop good morals. Special Education is unique because there is not only an emphasis on academics but also on social skills. We get to exclusively teach skills that help our students develop good character. These include sharing, being kind, introducing yourself, listening when others speak, and so on."
"Character and moral education are things to consider when becoming a future educator. How will we teach having good character and morals in our classroom? I believe teaching empathy as the foundation can set up the classroom to be a place of good character and morals. As we teach empathy, we teach our students the importance of putting yourself in others’ shoes and how to treat others with kindness. Having the base of empathy makes it easier for other honorable characteristics and morals to flourish. I hope in my classroom, I can teach my students to care for one another as if they were treating themselves and to teach the importance of having good character and morals."
"I am a strong believer in the gift of agency. While moral or character education can be a controversial topic, what I do know is that our ability to choose is essential for our growth as humans. The things that I have learned through the choices I have made in my life have helped me become the person I am today. Those choices have helped me develop my morals. Throughout my life, I've been guided by parents, trusted adults, and educators. But while explicit statements on the course I should take were common, I learned most from the examples of these people. The best form of moral or character education takes on the shape of your own character and morals as a teacher. While explicit moral instruction may sometimes be needed, teachers with strong morals model for their students what a moral person looks like, acts like, speaks like, and loves like. By providing a model of morals, students are left with the opportunity to use their agency and choose well based on the teacher they look up to. Choice brings permanence to moral character."
"I firmly believe that as teachers, we can have a significant impact on the young minds of students in more ways than just academically, especially morally. Teaching students character and moral values encourages them to do good and be kind to others, leading to lifelong values. However, we must remember that in the eyes of our students we are heroes and must demonstrate to our students the same morals we are teaching, like compassion, sharing, and kindness."
"I think character and moral education can be extremely hard to navigate, but it is an important part of being a teacher. As I have learned more about what it truly means to be a teacher, I have learned that we often lead by example. While I think it is important to teach our students correct morals and to have good character, I think it is even more important that they see those attributes in us. We can teach our students about good character and strong morals by treating them with kindness and respect. When it comes to deciding what you should explicitly teach students about moral education, I think it is important to remember that each set of students has different needs and it should be based on what you think they need."
"I think moral education is really important. So much of public school is based on helping students learn math, language arts, social studies, science, and more. However, some of the most important things that we learn in school are how to interact with others. By teaching children correct principles of patience, kindness, humility, and other moral characteristics, we are preparing them to be good members of society and better, well-rounded people."
"Being a teacher is more than just teaching. My teachers played a huge part in making me the person I am today. Everyone has at least one or two who spring to mind. One reason my teachers are so memorable is that growing up, I spent so much of my time in school, being taught by people dedicated to improving my life and being an example for me and the rest of my class, of someone who has good morals and character. In my opinion, building character in the classroom is one of the most important jobs of a teacher. Students spend as much or more time in school and the classroom than they spend at home, so there is significant value in taking responsibility as teachers to guide them in making correct choices and instilling a sense of moral and upright character. Because the children are the future, it is a responsibility we shouldn't take lightly, and we must strive every day to model excellent behavior and character."
What are your thoughts on character and moral education?