Putting Oil In The Lamp

Last week I took three personal days off from my job at school to go to the Josephson Institute of Ethics and upgrade my Character Counts! training. In a pre-course survey, they asked for our favorite quote or maxim. Since I love quotes, I couldn't possibly narrow them down to just one favorite, but Mother Teresa's words in the quote above really resonate with me:

To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.

I took the CC! training back in the Fall of 2000, so when I was invited to come back for an upgrade, it was these words that helped me make my decision. And it wasn't just the chance to learn more about the Six Pillars of Character, it was the three days of networking with character educators that tipped the scales for me. And I was not disappointed. I met my first new friend on the hotel shuttle from the airport Tuesday night. She's an SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) expert in Arizona. First thing Wednesday, I met an adorable couple who are working together to implement CC! in their homeland of Nigeria, West Africa. I sat at a table with a Spanish teacher from Washington State, a Science teacher from CA, and a YMCA activities director from LA. With kids and character in common, we were certainly a diverse group learning, interacting experientially and sharing reflections together.

Just look at this ginormous training manual!

Thursday morning I ate breakfast with two CA peer counseling high school teachers who were being trained through a school-climate grant. It was great fun to learn about them and their school families. A local second-grade teacher joined us for lunch and added that element of elementary-school enthusiasm to our group. That evening we convened in the lobby with a retired couple from AZ and a professor from NJ. I just love that at ages 76 and 70 respectively, they're still learning! 

Click the picture to go to the CC! website.

Friday morning I got to spend some time with a criminologist from TN, and I ended up hanging out with her Friday afternoon because she's also a national trainer for CC! and she offered to go over some specifics with me. I came back so energized by having met and spent quality time and become friends with these amazingly caring and passionate people.

What puts oil in your lamp so your light can shine?


  1. It's been a while since I left a comment, but I couldn't let the opportunity pass me by to say that YOU, Barbara, put oil in my lamp! I know any time I give one of your ideas a try, my light will shine. Thanks, Friend! Congrats on the training upgrade!

  2. I completely agree with Lisa! I wanted to reply YOU, too! You constantly encourage me and others and keep me motivated to continue sharing and for that I am very grateful.

  3. WoW you two; such beautiful sentiments and affirmations to fall asleep with - thank you, thank you!

  4. Oh, darn. "They took my answer!"
    You, Barbara, are a lamp filler, a bucket filler, and a heart filler!

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade


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