Fuguitt Elementary truly embraces the “it takes a village” approach to character education. Staff members are focused and intentional as they work to build the academic program on the foundation of a strong character education base. Student leaders, known as Character Coaches, lead discussions of the school’s character book of the month. Reading and writing programs have been intentionally linked to character education. Teachers have integrated the service learning program into the curriculum and provide structured opportunities for student initiative and reflection. Students are included in the planning and leadership stage, and both pre- and post-reflection opportunities are developed for each activity. The assistant principal, who launched the Bully-Free Club, and the guidance counselors and classroom teachers all have critical roles in the success of the school. At Fuguitt, all employees are considered to be “character educators,” and Principal Mike Moss says their character education efforts are “bringing the staff alive.”
Outreach: During their 2011-12 award year, Fuguitt staff responded to inquiries from other educators and formed a partnership with another elementary school.
Lesson Plan: Mini-Lesson for Tolerance
The teacher explains the importance of connecting with characters students read about, and some strategies to facilitate that. The teacher reads a book and tells the students they will focus on a certain word or phrase. Then the teacher discusses key phrases and quotes from the story to explain how the character may be feeling, and how the teacher feels as a result.
Promising Practice: Fuguitt Elementary Character Coaches
Scripted to build trust, reveal transparency, and promote participation, Character Coaches share their real life experiences of self-control, courage, honesty and beyond, and then provide opportunities for their learners to do the same.
Promising Practice: Miss Manners
Hattie Mae Manners is an elderly, quick-witted Southern socialite whose top priority at this stage of her life is to impart students at an early age with the time-honored life lessons her own grandmother taught her.