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Building Character and Motivation for a Life of Learning

"We have a crisis of character all across America.…the good news is that we know what to do about it: get back to the core values of our American heritage in our homes, our schools, our businesses, our government, and indeed in each of our daily lives." This was said forty years ago by Sanford McDonnell, who at the time was the chairman of a newly formed national group called the Character Education Partnership.

Since then dozens of character education programs have been produced begging to be adopted by schools nationwide, although public schools are often hesitant to address the topic of character in a meaningful way out of fear that doing so could be misconstrued as religious instruction. Most of the accepted character development programs revolve around a list of pillars, principles, values or virtues that are the theme for various lessons or modules taught in a class period and then checked off the list and quickly forgotten.

How do we plan on implementing character education at West Virginia Academy?

Instead of teaching character in separate modules or lessons, West Virginia Academy plans on helping teachers integrate effective tools and practices in their interactions with students throughout the day. Training for each teacher will be provided through the Character Lab. These principles will then be reinforced through experiential learning as part of our West Virginia Academy Ambassador's program.

We feel strongly that "actions speak louder than words." Effective learning can happen in the classroom by teachers and it starts with them modeling behaviors and attitudes that influence their students for years to come. For more information on the Character Lab and how it will help our teachers, see the video below.

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