Teaching Character and Creating Positive Classrooms

What is your passion?

You know that one topic/ idea that energizes you whenever you think about it?

For me, one of my passions is school counselling. I love my job!! I also love learning about new ways to connect with my students.

When I became aware of Coursera`s MOOC Teaching Character and Creating Positive Classrooms a few months ago I was immediately drawn to the concepts of character and positivity. As a school counsellor, I am constantly looking for new ideas and strategies to support my students in becoming the best that they can be. I was also taking #DCMOOC,  a course on digital citizenship, so I anticipated that many of the concepts and ideas from both the courses could be merged. I hoped that this course would provide me with a few tips and tricks to help me connect with my students in meaningful ways.

I was not disappointed.

Throughout the course we explored a number ideas including:

    • character strengths – those universal aspects of our personalities which will impact how we respond to our world.
    •   PERMA – Positive emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment- a definition of happiness identified by Dr. Martin Seligman.
    • CBL character behavior language – developing metacognition of specific strengths such as grit increases resilience.

    • GMgrowth mindset – knowledge that intelligence can change.
    • CR constructive responding –  all interactions we have our students convey a message therefore strive to create purposeful  active responses.

  • micro-moments– those spontaneous teachable moments which can be enhanced through the conscious use  of CBL, GM and CR.

At the end of the course we were asked to create a visual of our learning.

This was mine

Each student is a lake.
Character Behaviour Lanugage are pebbles on a beach, you can pick up hold and examine.
Constructive Responding happens when you toss a pebble (CBL) towards your student.
Growth Mindset are the ripples that form on the lake once the pebble has been tossed. Some tosses cause large ripples, some cause smaller ones but all comments contribute to change.

Erin

Thank you to Dave Levin and the Relay Graduate School of Education for an inspirational learning opportunity.

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