This week's character challenge is to be genuine. To be genuine, you say what you mean and you mean what you say. You treat people the same way to their faces as you would behind their backs. This can be quite a challenge in junior high. Unfortunately, people gossip and spread rumors, and these same people may claim to be your "friend". Regardless of others' behaviors and choices, it is important to be true to yourself and follow your own system of beliefs.
“It takes so much energy to lie. I wish people could grasp the sense of freedom and liberation that comes with being honest and genuine.”
Welcome back! I hope everyone had a relaxing spring break!
This week’s character challenge is to be present. Being present means that you give your friends, teachers, and family members your full attention. Today, many people multi-task while on their computers, phones, and tablets. However, this is not being present for the people trying to interact with you. Being present shows that you respect others and value their time. Teenagers and kids are not the only people guilty of paying more attention to their technology than to the people surrounding them...adults do it, too. It is important that we become more aware of these habits and make an effort to spend quality time with the people we care about.
~“The greatest gift you can give (yourself or anyone else) is just being present”
It's hard to believe it is the 4th quarter! This school year is flying by! With a new quarter comes a new PRIDE character trait. The final character trait of the school year is EMPATHY. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Many people confuse empathy and sympathy, but the two are very different. Sympathy is when you feel sorry for another person, but empathy is when you attempt to understand somebody's experience. In other words, empathy means that you try to walk in another person’s shoes in order to understand how they feel and what they’re going through.
This week’s character challenge is to be open-minded. Try not to judge others for being different or having different opinions than you. Our differences are what makes life interesting!
“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile, or the light won't come in.” ~ Isaac Asimov
This week's character challenge is to give your best effort. At this time of year, it is not unusual to lose motivation. The school year is almost over, and many students are struggling to give their best effort. Many students are excited for spring break, graduation, and summer break. However, it is always important to try your best. This shows the people around you that you have a good work ethic. When you are an adult working in your career field, you will always need to show that you are giving your best effort, and usually, it will pay off in the end. So, get into the habit now of always giving your best effort, and you will be rewarded!
~“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” -Arthur Ashe
This week’s character challenge is to be productive. Being productive means that we accomplish the necessary day to day tasks such as homework and studying. Putting things off for a later date is called procrastination and this often leads to unnecessary stress and anxiety. To be productive, it will help to use your assignment book everyday. Some people find it helpful to make weekly or daily to-do lists as well. By doing this, you will find yourself much more organized and less stressed out!
~“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” -Walt Disney
This week’s character challenge is to be independent. In junior high, students are given more freedom and independence which is supposed to help prepare you for high school where you will be given even MORE freedom and independence! This is very exciting, but it can be a lot to adjust to at first. Being independent means that you are able to fulfill your responsibilities such as completing your homework, studying for tests, and turning in assignments on time. Being independent also means that you make decisions and think for yourself. Junior high is an important time to practice the skills that will help you be an independent person in the future!
~“Independence isn’t doing your own thing, it’s doing the right thing on your own.”
This week's character challenge is to be a self-advocate. Being a self-advocate means to speak up for yourself, your needs, and what you believe in. When you are a self-advocate, you are an assertive communicator. You say what you mean and you mean what you say. In junior high, it isn't always easy being a self-advocate. Peers might pressure you into saying or doing things that you don't necessarily agree with. Self-advocacy is an important skill to have now and in the future. Without this skill, people might think that it is okay to treat you how they see fit, regardless of your feelings.
“You teach people how to treat you by what you allow, what you stop, and what you reinforce.” ~Tony Gaskins
This week's character challenge is to be a problem solver. This is an important skill in the classroom and in social situations. In junior high, students face social problems and dilemmas on a daily basis. When faced with a problem, think about all of the resources that could help you. Brainstorm ways to solve the problem, think of the possible outcomes/consequences for each choice, and then make your decision. Also remember that when you are faced with a dilemma, there is always an adult at school who will be willing to listen and help you to make the right decision!
"We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them." ~Albert Einstein
This week’s character challenge is to be persistent. Persistence means firm continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition. We all face challenges, difficulties, and failure at some point in our lives, but it is important to never give up. JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, had her manuscript rejected 12 times, but that didn’t stop her...and the rest is history. Remember, there is no success without failure.
“A river cuts through a rock, not because of its power but its persistence.” -Jim Watkins
The character trait of 3rd quarter is DETERMINATION. This week, the character challenge is to be a positive thinker. Positive thinking is so important! Our thinking is more powerful than we realize. It impacts our behavior and emotions. We have 35-48 thoughts PER MINUTE, or 50,000-70,000 thoughts PER DAY! If the majority of those thoughts are positive, then we are more likely to make positive choices and feel better emotionally.
“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” ~Abe Lincoln
“Keep your thoughts positive, because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive, because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive, because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive, because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive, because your values become your destiny.” ~Ghandi