Every month, Hope International School (HIS) focuses on a monthly character trait and awards certificates to those who either exemplify the character or improve the most. January’s character trait was patience and pictured above are the schools winners from the school’s primary department. HIS Guidance Counselor, Allison Wong answers questions about the program.
Tell us about the program.
Each month, we focus on one character trait that we want to grow in our students. Posters are created to explain the character trait, and are distributed to each of the teachers and classrooms. Teachers teach each of their classes about the month’s character trait during the month, either in planned lessons or in teachable moments. Weekly assemblies are also used to focus on the character trait. By the end of the month, students have been taught about the character trait from a variety of perspectives and situations, and understand the importance of growing in the character trait. At our end-of-month assemblies, one or two students per class are identified by the teacher or classmates as those who have either demonstrated or shown improvement in that character trait. These students are given an award – elementary students are given a certificate and an ‘I’m growing HIS character’ award button, and secondary students are given a certificate and a ‘free-dress’ day.’
When and why did Hope start this program?
We started the character education program in our first year of operation because we know that students will need to have strong, moral character in order to make a difference in the community. We want to build strong character in our students, so that when they become scientists, businessmen, or politicians, they will have high integrity to help them make wise decisions in their jobs.
What kind of results or changes have you seen so far?
It’s amazing to hear young elementary students talking about the character traits. They help each other by saying, “You’re showing persistence” or “Let’s be compassionate’. Our students know what good character looks like and want to grow. At the character awards assembly each month, the students enthusiastically applaud the award winners, which tells us that growing in character is positively received and celebrated.
Photo: Courtesy of HIS