Character Education Resource Center News You Can Use - March 2019

begin quoteAbility may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there. - John Wooden

A March Madness Lesson

March Madness is a phenomenon that grips the national sports psyche from the second week of March through the first week of April. It is the moniker that is given to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Men's and Women's Basketball tournaments. These tournaments determine the national champions of college basketball and are a very popular American sports tradition. In that tradition, we offer these sports quotes (on page two) for this month’s lesson. To You Their Teacher: It’s up to YOU to answer four questions about this lesson: (1) Do you want to use it? (2) If so, do you need to modify it? (3) How much time will you give it? (4) How will it be extended?

Objectives: After this lesson students will be able to:

  • Compare and contrast quotations
    • Find information about the author of each quote
  • Determine the meaning and implication of each quote
  • Write/draw how the quote may apply to what they do and say
  • Discuss the meaning of the quotes with their classmates, friends, family.
  1. Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there. - John Wooden
  2. Team sports teach you how to get along with A true mark of your character will be how you treat that person who is the weakest link when you are the strongest link. - Chris Jordan
  3. Talent is never enough. With few exceptions, the best players are the hardest workders. - Magic Johnson
  4. Admit to and make yourself accountable for mistakes. How can you improve if you’re never wrong? - Pat Summitt
  5. Sports teaches the value of facing yourself and others You can only grow if you let go of denial and embrace what is real and true. - Corey Irwin
  6. Ability is what you are capable of Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it. - Lou Holtz

Fact Check

A recent national survey of 1,140 teachers:

  • 1 in 5 teachers reported that they felt fully prepared to teach social emotional learning
  • 37% received in-school professional development
  • 18% receive no training
  • others reported informal training such as reading about (S. Sparks, ED WK, 10-31-2018)

Even with social media, the research shows that we max out at 150 real relationships. Studies showed that most people have about five intimate friends, 15 close friends, 50 general friends and 150 acquaintances. (Scientific American, 9-2018)

A 2011 meta-analysis looking at over 270,000 students, for example, found that students who participated in an SEL program showed academic gains of more than 11 percentile points over those who had not participated. And a 2015 study between economists and Teachers College revealed an $11 long-term economic gain for every $1 spent on a rigorous SEL program.

Psychologist Sarah Schnitker’s (Baylor University) research shows that people who are more patient also tend to be more hopeful, satisfied with their lives, and less likely to be stressed or depressed or experience health issues, like headaches and ulcers.

Studies on patience training show that patience is a skill that can be learned. (Healthday News (12-25- 2108)

Character Growth Card

The CGC offers you and each of your students a card with a 5-point scale from “almost never” to  “almost always “to assess 8 character strengths: curiosity, gratitude, grit, optimism self-control (interpersonal), self control (school work), social intelligence, and zest. The Card is neither a diagnostic nor a comparison tool. The authors’ note that it is designed to be a “conversation starter.”


Classroom Management:

An Opinion and a Resource

When we struggle with classroom management, we should look at our own practices before blaming the problem on students. Issues arise when students don't feel connected to the content or to the person  delivering that content. My problems were the result of outdated practices, not "bad" kids. If you make the content too easy or too hard, nobody wins. If you take the traditional, teacher-centered approach and constantly force students to comply with stringent rules and regulations, they will feel stifled and unstimulated. When I tailored instruction to meet struggling students instead of punishing them and gave them voice and choice, both students and I were happier. Every year since then, I have thrown away those worksheet packets and tried to get to know each student personally.

Stacey Noonan is a teacher coach at Manalapan High School. ASCD Express, Vol. 14, No.1.

Read Real Talk About Classroom Management, one of the best new books about this topic!

Good Teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths theater.

  • Saturday Morning Sessions - March 30, 2019
  • Saturday Morning Sessions - April 27, 2019


Edward DeRoche


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