People Still Value Character

Editor's Note: It is with sadness that we announce the departure of Dr. Virginia Smith. Today's blog post will be her last regular contribution as she moves on to another career at the end of this week.
Since joining Character First Education in 2012, she has written thousands of words to increase the amount of quality curriculum with the goal of teaching good character - for all ages. Her most recent project,
embark, is a leadership development program designed specifically for grades 9-12. Her passion for student leaders is very evident through all the pages she wrote.
We will greatly miss Dr. Smith, and we wish her all the best in her new role.

As a part of my job at Character First Education, I routinely presented to, and trained, teachers and parents. We might address issues such as establishing a culture of character in the classroom or home, or we might delve into bullying – identification, prevention, and dealing with the aftermath. One thing I have discovered over and over again is that character is still a big issue – in fact it is THE big issue.

Parents want to raise responsible young people who are honest, kind, compassionate, determined, and resilient. Teachers want a classroom that is calm and respectful, one in which children feel safe and encouraged and can take the risks necessary to learn.

We want character. We need to exhibit character in our own lives and we desire others to live by a moral code. We want to feel safe around others and we want to be able to be proud of our own words and choices.

We all want a good reputation – we want others to think highly of us in a good way. The foundation of a good reputation is solid character.

We want our bosses at work to be people of character. We want our friends to be loyal, honest, and sincere – all good character qualities.

If character is really important to us, we will take steps in order to develop character – in our lives and in the lives of those we influence.

We learn from the example of others and we learn from reading and studying character. There are several good resources available on the subject of character – many on the Character First Education website at Some of these resources are for children, some for adults, others for families or a combination of needs. Whatever the case, they all offer something important – a tool to start the character discussion…the chance to ask questions and explore core values and principles you and/or your family find important.

Some of the resources on the CFE website are offered free of charge so that you and your family can benefit from the things CFE does to help develop and promote character. Free lessons and resources for the family and the classroom can be found here:

Take the time to invest in character and the returns you receive will be well worth your effort.

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