Character Trait Article
It took courage for new students to come to school, meet their teachers, and make new friends. It took courage for our Middle School students to go off to try adventuresome activities through our week-long Outdoor Education program. It took courage for our fifth grade announcers to walk up to the podium at their first Morning Flag Ceremonies, welcome the audience, lead the Pledge of Allegiance and a patriotic song, and read the announcements. Every student needs to use courage everyday…to walk into the class alone, to raise a hand to answer a question, to stand up for him or herself if a playmate is not playing fair, or to present an oral report. We have shared this quote for years, and we stand by it today:
“Character may show most in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones.” Phillips Brooks
Courage is a character trait that is difficult to develop if a child is overly pampered and protected. Each child must build courage step-by-step as he/she tries new things (sometimes over and over and over) until success is achieved. Adults encourage the development of courage by letting a child explore and strive independently to accomplish the developmentally appropriate task-at-hand without being too helpful or critical.
As teacher/parent partners, our most important shared goal is well-stated in this quote by Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabes. “The main job for parents is to prepare their children for life, not to protect them from it.”
A teacher’s task is to prepare them day-by-day in school. Done well, each child’s courage and confidence at school is fostered incrementally as he/she overcomes challenges, experiences successes, and discovers the courage found within.
by Pam Volker, Headmistress