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Monthly Character Traits

In the fall of 2023, we launched our Monthly Character Traits program. Each month, we focus on explicitly teaching students about a positive character trait. The purpose of teaching these traits is to support the development of skills that contribute to lifelong wellness and success. These skills range from compassion to grit and are interwoven into the experiences students have in school on a daily basis. 


March: Integrity

March's character trait is integrity. Students will be encouraged to think about how they can do the right thing, even when no one is looking. 

Would you like to talk with your student about integrity at home? Here are some questions to ask:

  • What is integrity?
  • Why is it important to demonstrate integrity?
  • What would you do? 
    • You are walking behind someone, and $20 falls out of their bag. They do not notice. 
    • You made a mistake that someone else is being blamed for.
    • You notice that some of your classmates are treating another student unkindly. You can tell from the student’s body language that they feel hurt and sad. 

exploding volcano

February: Self-Discipline

February’s character trait is self-discipline. Students will explore ways that they can regulate their actions and emotions in a variety of settings and situations. 

Would you like to talk with your student about self-discipline at home? Here are some questions to ask:

  • What is self-discipline?

  • When you are angry or upset, what strategies do you use to calm yourself before making a decision or taking action?

  • When you play with your friends, what are some things that can make you feel sad/upset/angry? Is there anything you can do to prevent that from occurring? What can you do to communicate your thoughts/feelings if it does occur?

  • What do you need in order to focus on your schoolwork? When there are distractions, what can you do to help yourself?

  • When you have something big to accomplish, how can it be broken down into smaller steps?


January: Embracing Diversity

a diverse group of children holding hands

January’s character trait is embracing diversity. Students will be encouraged to think about ways we are all different from one another and why it is so important to have diversity within our school and around our community. Previous character traits -- citizenship and compassion -- will connect naturally to embracing diversity. 

Would you like to talk with your student about embracing diversity at home? Here are some ideas of questions to ask:

  • What is diversity? In what ways are people different from one another? 

  • What makes differences great?

  • Can you think of a time you noticed someone was different from you? What did you notice? What did you think? 

  • What do you like most about friends who are different from you?

  • What does it mean to embrace diversity?


December: Compassion

girl comforting a crying girl

December’s character trait is compassion. Compassion is having an understanding of another’s feelings or situation, coupled with the desire to help. Compassion can take many forms and involves a variety of elements. Here are some ideas we will explore at school:

  • Understanding the perspective of others

  • Appreciating diversity

  • Kindness

  • Listening

Would you like to talk with your student about compassion at home? Here are some ideas and questions to ask:

  • What is compassion? Can you think of a time you were compassionate to others, or someone was compassionate to you?

  • What do you like most about friends who are different from you?

  • How can we show we care about others?

  • What are some ways we can help someone who is feeling lonely?

  • Give a scenario and ask what the student would do. Probe by asking additional questions about how the person might feel. (For example: During recess, you notice a student sitting alone, looking sad, and not joining any games. What could you do?)  

 


 

November: Citizenship

boy helping a girl get up from the ground

November’s character trait is citizenship. Citizenship is being a member of and supporting one’s community and country. We will be focusing on citizenship at school and within the community. Some examples of citizenship are:  

  • Follow rules

  • Show expected behavior

  • Be a good example to others

  • Be a good friend

  • Help others

  • Protect our environment

Teachers and other adults throughout the building will be teaching and supporting the development of citizenship in our students throughout the month. At the end of the month, one student from each class will be recognized for exemplifying the traits of citizenship in November. 

Would you like to talk with your student about citizenship at home? Here are some ideas you can use around the dinner table, when you’re going for a walk, or even when chauffeuring kids from one activity to another:

  • Ask: What is citizenship? What are some examples of being a good citizen at school, the grocery store, or a play park?

  • Ask your student to tell you about a time they were a good friend (or any of the items listed in the bullets above).

  • Give a scenario and ask what the student would do. (Example: You see someone walking up to the doors of the school with their hands full. It looks like they are struggling to open the door. What could you do?)