Character.org 11 Principles Sourcebook Training Seminar (1-day or 2-day)
“This interactive day was upbeat and valuable. We now have clear ideas to build the school we want–which will certainly enhance learning across the board.”
Character.org trainers provide an overview of the 11 Principles of Effective Character, with significant focus on the foundational steps for systemic change. This work includes looking at existing school culture and “hidden curriculum,” the importance of establishing common core ethical values used to guide judgment and decision-making, and understanding how character is formed.
Eleven Principles Sourcebook Leadership Institute (1-day or 2-day)
“The best part of the day was learning all the ways we can develop our team making school better and better.”
The Character.org Leadership Institute is an initial training in Character.org’s Eleven Principles of Effective Character Education, customized to help school leaders learn how to move the initiative forward in their schools and what might be major areas for planning. This is an excellent starter format for a school district wishing to initiate effective character education across multiple school sites. The attending teams, which may be the character education committee, should include the principal, other school administrators, teacher-leaders, and community members and students, as appropriate. Teams of 5-9 participants are ideal. This is a great way to build a “critical mass” of supporters. It also works well when schools cannot do a staff-wide training because of limited professional development release days.
“Between the strategies presented and the Sourcebook as a resource, we have the tools to address our # 1 priority right away.”
Regional Institutes are similar to Eleven Principles Sourcebook Training Seminar, offering foundational coverage of the Eleven Principles. Participants come to a central location for the training day and are encouraged to come in teams. The Institute is held every year at Character.org’s Forum. It has also been held in areas that share resources across districts. At times, Institute participants go back to their schools so excited that they will bring Character.org to their schools to provide a full-staff experience.
Summer Curriculum Integration Institute (4-5 days)
“I’ve never made so much progress in any other workshop I’ve ever attended. I know how to incorporate character into my lessons now. There are so many ways to do this with creative strategies that I just didn’t know about before. I feel so much more prepared for the coming school year.”
In this intensive summer institute, educators come equipped with their textbooks and curriculum. The purpose of the institute is to help teachers find a number of lessons/units in which to fold in moral or ethical content as well as instruction on social and emotional skills. On Monday through Thursday, the teachers experience one or two “live” lessons that may be taught by exemplary NSOC teachers modeling how they integrated character education into their academic lessons. After the “mock” lesson, educators engage in a lesson “dissection,” looking at what worked, how the lesson was structured, and what could be improved. For the remainder of each day, teachers work with a special integration template as a guide for rewriting existing lessons to include character education organically. On the final day, teachers present their lessons.
“I came to this workshop feeling very skeptical. I just didn’t think class meetings would work for me; but I have to tell you that they did. They’ve changed the climate of my classroom. We all need to do them and listen to our students. What we think is important to them….isn’t; what we think bothers them…isn’t what we think. If you want to really get to know your kids, you need to have classroom meetings. Once you have that relationship, you can really begin to teach.”
Skill workshops are three-hour training opportunities customized for the needs of a school’s action plan. These workshops typically provide the “how to” training for areas that have emerged as the staff becomes more familiar with character education. Examples of workshop topics include: class meetings; service learning; problem-solving; discipline; conflict resolution; SEL skills, i.e., active listening, I-statements, and role-plays.
Collegial Follow-Up Sessions
“The opportunity to interact with people from our district was so valuable for us. We met after school and exchanged ideas. I learned what others are doing and it really helped get me recharged. Two collegials a year just isn’t enough to share our best practices! I leave inspired and motivated and I thank you.”
Customized and focused discussion with school teams and Character.org leadership addresses specific topics and process identified by the school some time after initial professional development takes place. Support for class meetings, service learning, and development or implementation techniques for portions of the 11 principles are often addressed. These are ½ day sessions.
Action Planning Workshops
“The presenters were dynamic, engaging and knowledgeable and really helped us focus on our priorities for the next steps we need to take. We worked on the big picture for the next three years as well as looking at what we can do tomorrow.”
Action Planning Workshops are generally held for either a full day or a half day combined with a specific Skill Workshop after school staffs have participated in an Eleven Principles Training Seminar. This opportunity focuses on next steps and prioritization for school personnel as they advance their initiative.
Site Visit and Report for Baseline Assessment (1-2 days)
“It was very useful to have a site visitor come here. The report validated the staff by highlighting what we are doing well which was meaningful for us all. It also made valuable suggestions for what we need to address.”
For schools or districts that have made a commitment to bring character development to their students and staff, one of the best ways to kick off the initiative is with a Character.org 2-day site visit. Two site visitors will visit the school, conducting multiple interviews and focus groups in order to get an impression of where the school is starting from. The site visit serves two purposes. First, it allows for baseline data collection. Most importantly, it creates a “buzz” in the school, gives educators a chance to be listened to, and allows for future work in which the staff knows that the Character.org consultant really knows who they are.
If you would like to find out more information about professional trainings, contact Sheril Morgan at email@example.com or call 202-296-7743.