By: Kharla Rapunzylle A. Trovela, Teacher 1
Majayjay Elementary School
Majayjay Sub-Office, SDO Laguna
Knowledge will give you power, but character respect. – Bruce Lee
As part of the education system here in our country – or even in any part of the world – we cannot deny the fact that character education is essential to the lives of everyone. The act of teaching students how to regulate their feelings, thoughts, and actions into pro-social behaviors or as we know socially accepted norms.
However, recently, there had been some alarming topics on the news about how the moral development of our students is being compromised. Increase in delinquency, teenage pregnancies, violence, and even substance abuse persists in the lives of our young ones. As an adult and an educator, there is something that really should be done to address this problem which is for us to do a better job of teaching and modeling high standards of behavior not only in the school, but also in the family, and community.
For these to be avoided, we have to teach our young ones the concept of good character as young as they are. As an elementary teacher, one should be able to utilize this great opportunity to save our children from treading away from the path of righteousness. Character education gives our learners the knowledge they need to know what these dangers in society are and deal with them properly. Here are some ideas we could do inside the class to incorporate character education.
First is modeling. From the social learning theory proposed by Albert Bandura, a child learns from observing, modeling, and imitating the behaviors, attitudes, and emotional reactions of others. Modeling good behaviors like showing courtesy by saying “po” and “opo; saying thank you every time someone gives you something or has done you a favor; and saying please when asking a favor from someone.
Second would be setting consistent rules, routines, and consequences inside the classroom which were all agreed upon by everyone – both the teacher and the students. Making the learners involved in setting the rules inside the class makes them more responsible for their actions. Followed by consistency, these values being inculcated will be acquired and put into practice every day in their behavior.
Another fun thing to do for your character education lesson is to choose a storybook that embodies a certain good value. Literary pieces are a good and effective way of building one’s character. To be able to relate with the main characters in the story gives a learner a sense of connection, which in turn put this behavior in his daily life.
Last would be the award reward system. Did you notice how our young learners’ eye light up every time we give them a star for a job well done? With this, positive attitudes are rewarded and awarded by small things. Remember these things need not be expensive. A child who feels appreciated for his/her good job will do more of that every day.
Nevertheless, our young learners should be exposed to activities or things that promote character development. What we mean by this is that building the character of our learners is not only the responsibility of the teachers but also their families and the whole community. With cooperation from everyone in building the good character of our learners, this would be able to provide ground rules for their life later when they become adults.
Nevertheless, character is caught not taught. It is everyone in society’s responsibility to become a teacher of good character. We should work hand-in-hand with each other to be able to develop holistic individuals who are honest, trustworthy, compassionate, courteous, and all other good characteristics that a Filipino must embody. It’s time to walk the talk.