I have definitely let this blog get away from me, but it's never too late to get back into the groove! This trimester, we are focusing on empathy which is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Empathy is not hardwired into our brains-it must be taught. In junior high schools, I think it is especially important for schools to focus on empathy. All too often, our students get caught up in gossip, spreading rumors, name calling, leaving others out, etc. without thinking about how the person on the other end would feel. We are blessed in Channahon to have such great students, and I know we will be seeing a lot of students showing empathy throughout the last months of school!
This week’s character challenge is to be a positive thinker. Did you know that we have about 50,000 thoughts per day? If the majority of those thoughts are positive, you are more likely to feel happier and less stressed out. When you catch yourself having a negative thought, try to think of something positive instead. It really can make a big difference in your day!
~“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” -Abe Lincoln
It's hard to believe we are half-way through November and starting a new trimester! So, with the start of a new trimester, we will focus on a new Indian PRIDE character trait--Determination. Last trimester, I did not update my blog regularly, so I am determined to change that! :)
To be determined means to make a firm decision and being resolved not to change it. We want our students at CJHS to be determined to do their best work and show their best character. We hope that students will strive to be the best students and person they can be. This week's character challenge is to be confident. It is so important to feel confident about yourself. We can be more confident by preparing for each day and thinking positively about ourselves. Our thoughts have such a huge impact on our emotions and behavior! If our thoughts are positive, our mood will improve and our behavior choices will be more positive as well.
"The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it."
The Indian PRIDE character challenge this week was to be helpful. Being helpful to another can brighten your own day and the person's you are helping. I recently went to the grocery story with my baby, and so many people offered to help me throughout my shopping trip. I didn't ask for help, but perhaps they understood that grocery shopping with an infant is no easy task. I felt so happy leaving the grocery store and was so grateful for the kindness these strangers had shown me. When we help others, we are passing on happiness and that happiness is contagious.
Indian PRIDE stands for People who Represent Integrity Determination and Empathy. Each trimester, we will focus on one character trait, and each week, we will have a character "challenge" based on that trimester's character trait. For example, first trimester, we will be focusing on integrity and the first challenge is to "be trustworthy". Students who are observed being trustworthy will be given a PRIDE Pass. The PRIDE pass can be turned in at lunch to earn a prize. Names of students who have earned passes are noted, and at the end of the trimester, teachers will vote for students (2 boys & 2 girls from each grade) who have best exemplified that trimester's character trait. Then, the chosen students and their parents are invited to a breakfast to celebrate their accomplishments!
1st Trimester, we will be focusing on Integrity. C.S. Lewis once said, "Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching." I think that's a pretty good definition! The staff at CJHS will be watching out for students who show integrity, though. Each week, we will introduce different "character challenges" and give PRIDE Passes for students who are "caught" showing integrity.
This week's character challenge is to be polite. Being polite shows others that we value them as human beings. We can be polite at school by saying "please" and "thank you", by using an appropriate tone of voice and volume, cleaning up after ourselves, and using proper manners. Being polite can go a long way and makes interactions much more pleasant!
"Respect for ourselves guides our morals, respect for others guides our manners."
This week's character challenge is to be kind. There are so many ways to show kindness to another person. Even the smallest gesture, such as a smile or a "hello", can brighten somebody's else's day. I see random acts of kindness everyday in the hallway, and they are usually not big, extravagant gestures. I see students helping each other in the hallways (carrying books, picking up items that have been dropped, comforting those who are having a bad day or are hurt, etc.) and being inclusive in the cafeteria at lunch. Being kind is beneficial to those on the receiving end as well as those showing kindness.
This week’s character challenge is to be encouraging. We can show encouragement to others in many ways. You can offer to help somebody who is struggling, give compliments, or write somebody a nice note. You should share positive comments with others, but keep negative comments to yourself. Being encouraging makes others feel more confident in themselves and creates a more positive school climate.
“Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and
he will become as he can and should be.”
― Stephen R. Covey
This week's character challenge is to be caring. It does not take a huge act of kindness to show others that we care about them. We can show that we care by being an active listener, helping each other, or simply asking, "How are you doing?" These small things can make a huge difference!
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
This week's character challenge is to be helpful. It is easy to get caught up in our own problems and daily life, but it is important to take time to help others in need. At school, you might help a classmate carry their books or open their locker. You could also hold the door for the person behind you or help a classmate pick up items that he or she has dropped in the hallway. Students can also be helpful to their teachers by offering to pass out papers and by setting a good example of an attentive learner. Being helpful is a great way to brighten somebody else's day (as well as your own).
“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” -John Holmes