After The Fall

Happy Wednesday; today I feel grateful that our friends
at used this selfie shot to advertise

I totally remember that this was a magical moment in time;
just look at the joy in our smiles.
Will you be going in October?
It'll mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Forum experience.
Two and a half decades of celebrating character.
A quarter of a century of showcasing promising practices.

A huge part of that journey down Character Road for me has been
learning that character building is so much more than just
naming and claiming your school's core values.
If it were, then it'd be one and done,
something our district did back in 1987, 
a product rather than a process.
Oh, that's a big piece, for sure, but it's more about how we
weave those values into the very DNA of our school's fabric 
and use them as a roadmap to help us get where we're going.
It's about reducing peer cruelty so children feel safe.
It's about creating a web (where everyone belongs!) of love
where everybody knows they matter,
where they're given a voice and choices,
where they are championed as learners and leaders.
Not just the kids; faculty, staff and stakeholders, too.
A place where shared leadership is a given,
where kindness matters isn't just a slogan on the wall,
where data helps drive decisions. 
It's about using mistakes and failure as opportunities for growth,
it's about picking one another up and when we fall,
it's about stepping in to each other's stories
and listening to really understand rather than just to respond.

It's about getting honest and addressing the elephants in the room.
It's about telling our truth,
lavishly giving grace,
apologizing to right wrongs,
and forgiving to heal when hurts happen.
Schools of character are a rare gift
that don't just happen by chance.
They happen as a result of intentional hard (and heart) work.
Every magical moment 
of every single day.
One of my greatest career joys was leading Westwood Elementary
to a State and then National School of Character distinction.
That's why I'm honored to be in that photograph
as an Ambassador for this year's Forum.

Today I'm also excited about our picture book pick of the week
 that beautifully encapsulates the school of character ideal. 

It tells the story of Humpty Dumpty's return from his famous fall, how he persevered through his fear of heights, worked to reinvent himself, found out the hard way that life begins again only after you get back up, and emerged a better version of himself than he ever imagined possible.

After reading this treasure aloud, have fun making paper airplanes.
Encourage your students to write their YET goals on them.
You could even host a contest, to see which flies the farthest.
Then click {here} for more intriguing integration ideas.

Our chapter book pick for this week also showcases
how a using a growth mindset can pay huge dividends.

This colorful and comprehensive guidebook is chunk full of epic examples of women who have fought against fear and other overwhelming odds to achieve amazing things in the competitive world of athletics. These 101 women changed the face of their games and have put performance values like perseverance, resilience and grit in the spotlight center stage.

Know someone who needs a booster shot of inspiration? Share this awesome Sports Illustrated Kids newcomer with your children, encourage them to find an athlete they admire, and write down the character traits that make their story stand out. Invite them to use these hard-working women as a role model next time they're tempted to quit running the race because an obstacle gets in their way.

Click image for source.

Now that's a character ideal that'll 
get back up
 and score a goal toward success 
every time.


  1. I'm not a teacher, but I am a parent. I love your site and find many ways to incorporate much of it into our home life. Thank you for putting your message of kindness into the world. It matters and IS making a difference. Please keep it up!

    1. Thank you for stopping by and leaving these kind and thoughtful reflections! I feel joyful that you're finding my stories and strategies helpful in your parenting; caregivers unite!!

      I appreciate each and every one of my readers and am always grateful to hear from you.


I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!