World Gratitude Day, Character Day, the Autumnal Equinox and the National Hispanic Heritage Month

Happy Soul Food Friday!

As we celebrate more than 5 years of this blog, longer if you count our email beginnings, enjoy our new look and feel and do add your comments so we know what you care about most!


This week:

World Gratitude Day Sept 21st
The awareness of the benefits of having time in one’s life for gratitude, appreciation and positive reflection have become increasingly apparent. The hope of the founders of Gratitude Day is that by taking time, one day a year, to reflect on the many amazing things we have in our lives, it would positively impact our well-being and make us happier, more contented people.

Character Day September 22nd  and the Periodic Table of Character Strengths:
What kind of person am I and who do I want to be in the world?
A global movement we can all be part of…

The Science of Character:
What are YOUR Top 5 Strengths?

“The Science of Character” – new 8 min film from The Moxie Institute on Vimeo.

Teachers need to attend to creating a sense of community in the classroom, where mutually respectful relationships are nurtured and prosocial behaviors are welcomed and rewarded.”

-DeRoche & Williams, Educating Hearts and Minds.

In the Character ED Business? The Purpose of Education in the U.S.
Americans do not agree. Academics? Work ? Citizenship?

  • Less than half say “academics” (45%)
  • Preparing students for work (25%)
  • For citizenship? (26%)

Here is a caveat from the PDK Poll  (2016)–68% of Americans polled say local schools should focus on career-technical or skilled–based classes rather than more honors or advanced academic classes. What say you?

News You Can Use
News & Notes for those who Care and Share!

  • References   •Resources   •Research  •Ramblings

September 2016 – Issue 1. Editor: Ed DeRoche. Co-Editor: Serena Pariser

21st Century Skills

More than 250 researchers across 60 institutions worldwide categorized these skills into four broad categories:

  • Ways of thinking: creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving, decision-making and learning;
  • Ways of working: communication and collaboration;
  • Tools for working: information and communications technology and information literacy; and
  • Skills for living in the world: citizenship, life and career, and personal and social responsibility.                                                                                                                                     21st century skills require 21st century people of “character.”

Class Culture
Excerpt from

We all want to build a positive classroom culture. But sometimes it can seem so elusive! This Deep Dive is here to help you consider how you can build a class culture that promotes academic achievement and social and emotional literacy.  Class culture is the foundation of a successful classroom, setting the tone while communicating and maintaining clear expectations. It also sets students up to hold each other accountable in reaching the classroom expectation and their shared goals.

As you begin this school year ask yourself:

Goal Setting                                                                

As you begin a new school year take note of these recommendations.

ASCD Smartbrief (5-26-09) reports that teaching middle school students WHY doing well in school is important and then helping them develop EFFECTIVE WAYS TO STUDY may do more to improve their grades than homework help.

Researcher Nancy Hill says, ” PLANNING AND DECISION-MAKING SKILLS can make middle school an especially effective time to use such strategies to overcome students’ decreasing interest in school.” is where we found this useful acronym:
SMART—which should be useful to your students.

S = Specific  M = Measurable       A = Attainable               R = Realistic      T = Timely

Have you considered goal setting using social systems for support in your classroom? Read about it here:

Narnia Virtues Project
The Center staff is pleased to connect you with a new educational project from our colleagues at the Center for the 4th and 5th Rs and the University of Leeds, UK.

The Narnia Virtues Project is a literature-based character education curriculum for students ages 11 to 13.   If you are an educator who teaches students in the 11 to 13 age -group, then you are eligible to join the Narnia Virtues project.  All teacher and student materials are free.  The project that will begin a pilot launch of its curriculum in fall 2016, and are looking for participants.

If interested, visit their website,, for further information on this year’s pilot project, short videos, and sample project materials.

Celebrate Character Day
The Center staff  invite you to join us in celebrating Character Day on Thursday, September, 22nd.

Check out Let It Ripple’s website, where you can find suggestions for activities, discussion kits, free materials, and videos for all ages.

September Freebie Caring Teacher Inventory

This inventory can be used in staff development or to have students assess their teachers’ caring behaviors, but the primary intent is for teachers to use it as a self-evaluation instrument

Why take the inventory? Teachers need to attend to creating a sense of community in the classroom, where mutually respectful relationships are nurtured and prosocial behaviors are welcomed and rewarded.”-DeRoche & Williams, Educating Hearts and Minds.

A Fulbright Scholarship
Have you ever consider applying for a Fulbright Scholarship? Now is the time. Applications are currently open for 2017-2018. Read about one of our staff member’s insider perspective with Fulbright in Africa here:’s-perspective

Something to LINK To
Noisy Class =

How San Diego Is Teaching the Next Generation of Innovators:
“Our vision for leading the innovation economy leverages our unique competitive advantage rather than replicating what has been done elsewhere…”

National Hispanic Heritage Month:
Paying tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society!

Practicing Focus in a World of Relentless Demands: The Energy Project

Thanks, this week go to Ed DeR, Serena P, Laura K, David L, Tony S, Meg M and Grateful Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Characters Everywhere!

Teach AND LEARN for America and our WORLD
Pay it forward, please…


In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;
And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;
And then… they came for me. ..And by that time there was no one left to speak up.
–Rev Martin Niemoller, January 1946


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