Our Character Corral

The Character Corral, three glass window panels that became a wall and were just begging to be painted, was crafted for us by local Muralist Kathy Hammond. We asked for six horses in a pasture branded with the letters T R R F C C to represent the Six Pillars of Character. 
What we got was this cool 3D-looking corral where the pillars are also elegantly etched into the fence posts. We also got to watch her create the entire thing as she worked during two school days!  (Can you imagine only two days from start to finish on something this spectacular?) Just yesterday one of our preK sprouts asked why the horses had letters in stars on them.

Kathy also painted the six pillars that line the walkway into our school with a faux-marble look and six pillar words subtly etched in them. Unfortunately they have to come down this week as we remodel this area to get a more secure entrance.

All aboard the Kid With Character express!
Another way that we made character come alive when we first started out was a campaign that we called Kids With Character. Every month, each teacher would select the student who was doing the best job of putting character into action. We’d give them a KWC award and take their pictures so that they could be publicly affirmed. Local businesses would partner with us to congratulate and honor them. We switched the name to the Character Honor Roll two years into the program, then eventually phased it out as we moved away from extrinsic toward intrinsic motivation. 

At that same time, we held an essay contest to let our third graders name our hallways. Here's an example of the street signs we had made from the winning entries that now hang in the hallways:

Some of the other names include Respect Route, Trustworthiness Trail, Caring Cul-De-Sac, Pillar Parkway, Acceptance Avenue, Helpful Highway, Character Court, Friendship Forest, Responsibility Road.  
How have you made character visible at your school?


  1. Just love the windows! Your school is very lucky to have you.

  2. WOW. I wish I taught at YOUR school.
    (We could go to Starbucks in the morning!)
    I haven't forgotten about your sweet recognition--I'm just a bit behind. This is "catch up" week!
    Love the horses, and the related sentiments...

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  3. This will make you smile... Not as good as your hometown version, but still sweet!

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  4. Thanks Jo and Barbara! Kim, we'd hire you in a heartbeat . . . and the Starbucks is just FIVE minutes from my house! Oh, and thanks for scouting yet another amazing video clip.

  5. That window is amazing, I wouldn't mind going to work everyday with that to look at!

    The Picture Book Teacher's Edition

  6. wow!!!! what a beautiful mural!!!! I love all that it represents!

    ❤ Mor Zrihen from...
    A Teacher's Treasure
    Teaching Treasures Shop


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