All Aboard the Citizen Ship

As another election rolls around and we find ourselves navigating the stormy seas of not only a global pandemic but also social unrest and uncertainty, I’m reminded of the importance of modeling and teaching our youngest leaders to be ‘value-able’ citizens.

5 Strategies For Creating Caring Connections

by Barbara Gruener Connection. The act of engaging relationally, of belonging, of finding things that ground us. Connecting is such a strong human need that sometimes we even extend our reach super far, like when I hear that you’re from Alfred, New York, so I mention that I used to room with a girl from […]

Create a Culture of Kindness in Middle School

Create a Culture of Kindness in Middle School focuses on positive and pro-social attitudes and behaviors that build a respectful and compassionate school environment, while also addressing the tough issues of prejudice, anger, exclusion, and bullying. Through role-playing, perspective-taking, sharing, writing, discussion, and more, students develop the insights and skills they need to accept differences, resolve […]

What’s On Your Plate? Building Character: Lesson 4

Servant Leadership: What’s On Your Plate? When we begin with the end in mind, we can’t help but think about the servant leaders that will come out of our school, value-able citizens who’ll work with intention to make our world a better place. But that won’t happen by chance. How do we feed and nurture […]

What’s On Your Plate? Building Character: Lesson 3

Late author Stephen Covey asked us years ago to begin with the end in mind; once you’ve assessed your needs and you know where you need to go, how are you going to get there? An important way to make your character-education efforts sustainable is to weave them in to the very DNA of your […]

What’s On Your Plate? Building Character: Lesson 2

In our last email, we addressed building relationships, because how we relate to one another matters. But how will we know if our efforts need an upgrade? Are the culture (how we behave at school) and the climate (how your school feels) of our character building in line with our vision and our mission? This […]

What’s On Your Plate? Building Character: Lesson 1

For generations, schools have worked with intention to advance their students’ skills in the 3 Rs {Reading, ‘Riting, and ‘Rithmetic}, commonly revered as the core essentials of a child’s education.   We relied heavily on children coming to school with the 3 Rs of the character kind, things like Respect, Responsibility, Relationships, already in place. […]

A Character Diet: What’s On Your Plate? – Intro

Just as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends that we maintain a balanced diet which includes nourishment every day from all five food groups to keep our bodies at maximum health, so is it critical to nourish hearts and minds in our character building by modeling and teaching core values while we feed […]

Connecting To Our Community

by Barbara Gruener In a recent Forbes magazine article detailing what employers are looking for in their new hires, the majority of the top twelve skills weren’t content-related skills at all. Nope. In fact, the majority were soft skills which are increasing becoming the new hard skills. So how do we prepare our students now […]

Paradise Lost, New Hope Found

Paradise Lost, New Hope Found by Barbara Gruener It was five months ago, on November 8, 2018, when a fire known as The Camp Fire, which historians are calling the deadliest wildfire in the United States in a century, ripped through and ravaged the town of Paradise. Five months ago, when this Northern CA community […]