Commitment to Character
Commitment to Character is the district model for character education. The goal of the program is to create a school culture that is saturated with such character qualities as respect, responsibility, honesty and self-motivation to promote the highest student achievement in a safe learning environment.
Rather than using a prescribed curriculum, the Commitment to Character model provides a menu of strategies that are infused through the regular curriculum with an intentional, conscious focus. Commitment to Character utilizes a common language, teachable moments, service learning, and modeling to teach character education in all curriculum areas.
Florida K – 12- Education Code
(2) Members of the instructional staff of public schools, subject to the rules of the State Board of Education and the district school board, shall teach efficiently and faithfully, using the books and materials required, following the prescribed courses of study, and employing approved methods of instruction, the following:
(q) A character-development program in elementary schools, similar to
Month by Month
• Respect* August Treating yourself and others with courtesy and consideration.
• Responsibility* September Doing your best and taking ownership of your words and actions.
• Cooperation* October Getting along with others and working together to accomplish a goal.
• Citizenship* November Being law abiding and involved in service to school, community and country.
• Kindness* December Being nice and considerate toward others.
• Self-Motivation* January Working in a careful and consistent manner without giving up.
• Tolerance* February Respecting the individual differences, views, and beliefs of other people.
• Honesty* March Using truthful speech and behavior.
• Self-Control* April Managing your emotions and choosing acceptable behavior.
• Caring, May Being kind, friendly, considerate and willing to listen, give and share.
• Courage June Being brave in difficult situations, challenging yourself.
• Patriotism* July Demonstrating allegiance to one’s country.
Dr. Ruby Payne’s A Framework for Understanding Poverty
Dr. Ruby Payne, noted educator, author, speaker, and business owner, analyzes in her research of over 30 years, how one’s economic state, particularly someone living at or below the poverty level, can affect a person’s learning, work habits, decision-making, and behavior. In her book, A Framework for Understanding Poverty, she acquaints her readers with eight resources, which, when one or more is absent, can affect students’ lives in and out of school. In addition, she differentiates between the “Hidden Rules” of poverty, middle class, and wealth, discusses registers of language, identifies classroom discipline intervention strategies and instructional strategies to improve achievement.
Overview of Bullying:
Bullying can be defined as being exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more students (Olweus, 1993). There are three key components to all bullying situations.
1. There is always a power differential between the bully and the victim.
that is acquired through physical size, strength or status.
2. There is intent to harm; the child who is bullied is put in the
position of oppression by the child who bullies.
3. Finally, bullying is a repeated rather than singular event.
Direct bullying involves an open attack on a person or property, such as pushing someone into a locker or destroying homework. Indirect bullying is more subtle and covert, such as social isolation or exclusion.
Types of Bullying Behavior:
1. Verbal bullying includes taunting, teasing, name-calling, extortion, and threats.
2. Physical bullying is harm to a person or property.
3. Relational aggression is harm to someone’s self-esteem or group acceptance.
4. Sexual harassment is any inappropriate sexual comment, gesture, or behavior including offensive jokes, pictures and rumors that offend others.
5. Cyberbullying is using the internet or other digital communication devices to send or post harmful or cruel text or images. (See Community Involvement link for Internet safety tips)
Research shows that without intervention, bullies are more likely to develop a criminal record and engage in antisocial behaviors while bullying victims suffer long-lasting psychological harm (Olweus, 1993). Those who bully have more cases of alcoholism and substance abuse, more antisocial personality disorders and are more likely to drop out of school. Children who are bullied have lower self-esteem and higher levels of stress, anxiety, depression, illness, and suicidal ideation.
Bullying is not a normal part of growing up! It is important to distinguish between what is normal behavior and what is bullying.
Bullying and Conflict:
Conflict is a normal part of life whereas bullying is a harmful form of peer abuse. Conflict is generally not a repeated behavior and there is a relatively equal balance of power between those involved.
Bullying and Teasing:
Teasing is a normal part of growing up. Teasing is when everyone involved is having fun. There is an equal balance of power. It becomes bullying if one person is no longer having fun because the balance of power has changed and someone is being physically or emotionally hurt.