Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Character Traits

It's important for teachers and students to work on their character traits. From respect, responsibility to being helpful in life.

In the classroom as a teacher I find especially as a substitute teacher how many students especially from lower socio economic backgrounds sometimes lack the virtue or character traits akin to that of responsibility.

I recently taught kids who come from gang backgrounds and with this often comes, alcohol and drug abuse from the parents. This often influences the children to do the same.  I have taught a Year 7 and 8 class which is Grade 8 and 9. Most of these kids were from local gangs. Their weekends were often filled with parties, getting stoned and high. Therefore you were dealing with kids, who were coming off from a high and who had real difficulty focusing or even caring.

I had to teach in this particular class for a week and it was one of my worst weeks of teaching, but I did know what I was going into. I was warned by the classroom teacher.  On day one, I had students challenge me and my teaching background. I had students, not listen and get out their phones. I had kids talk to their neighbours and not care that I had set work for them. I had kids swear and had really bad attitudes. It was virtually impossible to get them to trust me until Thursday and Friday. It was incredibly difficult work all in all and wasn't worth the money. In New Zealand the money is quite good on a daily basis compared to other countries. But no, my sanity was worth more.

Now I want to emphasize that most lower socio-economic areas have wonderful schools, teachers, parents and kids, however I was talking about an unusual class.

When their parents feel that life have left them behind they take it out on themselves and have less care for their children. The children in turn bring these bad behaviours to school. This isn't specific to a particular race, because I have met this bad attitude from kids of different backgrounds and races.

What really bought home, was their absolute defiance and inability to take responsibility for their actions. They didn't get on with each other and often used put downs. To solve anything they'd swear and fight about it. But they'd blame, blame and blame each other but never, "Yes I was at fault and I'm sorry."

This is why I developed the unit Character Traits with lesson plans and worksheets. I want to have kids really think about their contribution and responsibility in dealing with adversity and different personalities in class. To be honest I am not sure that that particular class can be helped as most children did not act with mature or responsible behaviour. But I know that children who are teetering on the edge of misbehaviour can be helped and of course for most 'normal' kids these character traits serve as a good reminder and reinforcer. Most kids need guidance and this needs to be done often in the classroom and at home.

I feel that Responsibility is most important, so I want to show you part of this large bundle of character traits below.

Character Traits FreeBe

Responsibility
Download your free character traits Lesson plan on Responsibility.

I have included:

* 3 Lessons Plans
* 3 Worksheets
* I can statements
* One full colored poster.

All for your teaching pleasure.

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