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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation
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Celebrating National Character Counts Week

Mary Beth Hertz

K-8 Technology Teacher in Philadelphia, PA

October 21-27 is National Character Counts Week. This is a chance for schools and districts to celebrate positive relationships among their students and to promote positive school culture.

The Josephson Institute for Youth Ethics has broken character education down into six pillars: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship. By registering with the site, you can access a number of free resources to use in your classroom, webinars and other professional development opportunities.

The anti-bullying resources include cyberbullying, which is a swiftly growing realm in the world of character education. We have always taught our students and our children manners at the dinner table, how to interact with others in public places and treating others the way we would want to be treated. Nothing has changed except that the playground has been replaced with a computer screen, a keyboard, a mouse and sometimes a webcam and microphone. It is important that we provide well-rounded character education to include public, private and online spaces that fit both descriptions.

To develop students' online character, use blogs, online discussions and chat rooms to help them practice good manners and respectful dialogue with peers and with others online. Students can also join the conversation by sharing their anti-bullying stories or providing advice for other kids through video, blogs or even through song.

Here are some other resources for incorporating character education into your classroom for Character Counts Week.

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