Character Trait of the Month
Good judgment - making a constructive decision in a challenging and/or dynamic situation - requires many positive character traits. Some may wonder if young children are capable of good judgment. We believe they are, and depending on their age and maturity, we believe they can make decisions that solve problems, help others, and lead to other positive results, such as collectively creating a school environment that is peaceful, welcoming, and encouraging.
This may sound a bit optimistic to you, but the more we focus on positive character traits, assertiveness, discipline, and good role modeling on our campuses, the more we see the benefits of our efforts. Our schools are full of confident, enthusiastic, responsible and respectful children. These children use good judgment everyday.
Assertiveness does not come naturally to many. To be assertive means to act in a positive and decisive manner. Successful people are generally assertive - motivated and purposeful. These are traits that we want our students to learn. In order to be assertive, but not aggressive, a child must know that what he is trying to do is right and important to himself and others (not wrong and selfish), communicate what is needed effectively (not push and shove), and accomplish the task without taking from others what is rightfully theirs.
At Warren-Walker School, to discipline means to teach. Children learn by example, through lessons and stories, from ethical dilemmas that are posed to the students as part of a unit of study, and from consequences - either positive or negative. Well-disciplined people maintain autonomy while working successfully in a group. They take ownership of and fulfill their individual responsibilities. They maintain a sense of positive purpose. Their ongoing use of good judgment makes a positive difference for all of us.
Once again, it is the lives we lead as adults that instruct our children. As they watch us, they learn to stop and think, accept responsibility for our actions, and make good choices - or not and suffer the consequences. We must teach them the value of good character, and they will develop the gift of good judgment.