Developing Character in Our Kids



What makes a student successful? What makes adults successful? Is it how much they know? To me, it’s the character of a man or woman that makes the biggest difference. When I look back over my years of teaching, my biggest frustrations with students (and parents) revolve around issues like responsibility, dishonesty, short-sightedness, dependence, lack of perseverance, and lack of tenacity. As Angela Duckworth so eloquently details in her TED Talk, the biggest indicator of success is grit.

For years, educational “experts” have been telling us that students fail, students are mean, students are depressed because of their lack of self-esteem. I see students with the opposite problem: they are completely self-consumed and think of themselves as invincible. “I can drink and drive and will never get caught or get in an accident.” “I can be lazy and not do any hard work and turn out just fine. I’ll get by somehow.” Today’s young people suffer from a lack of character that revolves around an extreme self-centered attitude.

So if we want kids to focus more on others and develop strong character, what do we as educators do? Build up their SELF esteem? I believe that approach creates more self-centered, ego-inflated citizens. First, we can model other-centeredness, caring, giving, and kindness for our kids. We should be smothering them with positive messages, encouragement, and acts of kindness. In addition, teachers should be highlighting positive peer role models.

Friday, a 12-year old boy had a dream come true: he got a foul ball at a Red Sox game. But instead of standing up, celebrating his moment, and pocketing the ball, he turned to the little girl behind him and handed it to her. Ryan acted without even thinking! He did it because it’s nice to do! What an amazing role model. Let’s lift up Ryan and make him a hero for our kids to admire, rather than all the characterless actors, musicians, and athletes that our society loves to worship. And after you watch this, submit a comment with a link to other inspiring stories of selflessness that we teachers can use as positive role models for our kids.

The Bedley Bros. #EdChat Ep. 26: Catlin Tucker


In the latest episode of the Bedley Bros EdChat, Scott and I learn more about blended learning from one of education’s foremost experts on the subject, Catlin Tucker. Catlin was one of the keynote speakers at last year’s CUE conference in Palm Springs. Catlin will challenge your view of what education should look like. Do your students back channel? Tune in and learn more.

Show Notes

Follow Catlin on Twitter

Catlin’s Website

Subscribe to updates. We never share info or spam.


 

The Bedley Bros. #EdChat Ep 25: The Two Sisters



Gail Boushey and Joan Moser, real life sisters, are the authors of one of the most popular books for teachers over the past several years, The Daily 5. The Two Sisters impact on teachers reaching well beyond just language arts instruction, but also into classroom management and character development. Scott and Tim engage in a lively discussion with these two down-to-earth powerhouse educators about topics like investing in kids, misconceptions about the Daily 5, and developing student skills to support the common core standards.

Show Notes

The Daily Cafe

The Two Sisters


 

The Bedley Bros #EdChat Ep 24: Susan Cain


Join my brother Scott and me as we speak with author Susan Cain. Susan shares how educators and parents can impact their classrooms for those students who may be introverted. Susan talks about best practices that you may want to consider offering as you plan for your school year. Listen to this powerful discussion about introversion in the classroom on The Bedley Brothers EdChat episode 24.

Show Notes

Watch Susan’s TED Talk

Visit Susan’s website

Subscribe to updates. We never share info or spam.


 

Inspiring Video: Richie, the Engineer with No Arms


Richie was born with no arms. His whole life has been a course in design engineering. As you kick off your new school year, this is a perfect time to show this awe-inspiring video to instill determination, hard-work, and positive attitude in your students. Personally, I couldn’t watch this video without tearing up. Richie is one of my new heroes.

Here are some suggestions for classroom use. Give your students some time to pair share their feelings after watching the video. Don’t rush into a whole class discussion or assignment right away. After ample time to process, ask your students some questions: What challenges do you face in life? How does Richie inspire you to become a greater person? What questions would you ask Richie if you could meet him? Perhaps you will assign a response essay or ask your students to blog about Richie. Maybe you could write to Richie and thank him for the example he sets for young people.

The Bedley Bros. #EdChat Ep. 21: Gene Bedley


The Bedley Bros. have finally reached the pinnacle of education rock stars. This week, we interview our dad, Gene Bedley. Dad was honored as the PTA National Educator of the Year in 1985. He is the Executive Director of the National Character Education Center. Our dad’s innovative work in values-based education has brought him national and international acclaim and recognition by receiving the Rotary, Paul Harris National Outstanding Educator Award and the prestigious Milken Family Foundation National Award for his work in value-based education. The Bureau of Education’s presented Dad with the National Distinguished Teacher Award for his work in character development and school discipline.

He has been described as a Catalyst, Climate Creator, “Value Driven” educator with a compelling message for Americas teachers, parents, and children. Dad Bedley believes that responsibility is the foundational value of all the core values. As a learning behavior strategist, he has trained over 3,000,000 educators from around the world and his Values in Action! Program is in over 25,000 schools worldwide.

But most importantly, he’s a great dad.


The Bedley Bros. #EdChat Ep. 19: Ramsey Musallam


With almost a half million views to date, Ramsey Musallam’s inspiring message of how he fosters curiousity in his high school students is one of the most popular teacher TED Talks on the Internet. Ramsey sat down with Scott and me to have a casual and candid time talking shop.

Show Notes

Ramsey Musallam’s Blog Cycles of Learning

Infinite Thinking Machine

If This Then That (IFTTT)

Curiosity Article from Stanford

The End of Molasses Classes by Ron Clark

 

 

The Bedley Bros. #EdChat Ep. 16: Rebecca Wildman and Fred Sitkins



Teacher Rebecca Wildman and her principal Fred Sitkins are changing the face of education through their use of iTunes U for elementary students in Michigan and around the world. Watch as they explain the endless possibilities of this eduawesome platform.


Show Notes

iPad PD Rebecca and Fred’s website where they house their iTunes U courses and a whole lot more!

Flipping PD in iTunes U

Greg Tang Math

GiveBloodPlayHockey.org

The Bedley Bros. #EdChat Ep. 14: Dr. Brian O’Connor



Scott and I interview Dr. Brian O’Connor, expert in Lesson Study, a professional development program that actually changes classroom practice. Scott shares his tip on using Buzz Mob to communicate with parents. I talk about Google Apps (Google Drive) as an easy and free way to do word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, and drawings. Enjoy!

Show Notes

Lesson Study Search

Buzz Mob Website

Sign up for Google Apps

Video: Using Google Apps to Monitor Student Writing

The Bedley Bros. #EdChat Ep. 9: Interview with Alex Kajitani



Watch Alex’s engaging discussion with Tim and Scott on the latest episode of The Bedley Bros. EdChat. Alex, the 2009 California Teacher of the Year, shares ideas from his new book Teacher of the Year Handbook. Both of the Bedley Bros. also share a quick tip for teachers. Whether or not you are in the running for Teacher of the Year, educators will benefit from this lively interview with the Rappin’ Mathematician.

Show Notes

Teacher of the Year Handbook

Rappin’ Mathematician

Alex on Twitter