Saturday, August 17, 2013

Building Character and the BTS Sale

I'm not sure if I've ever expressed this opinion in this setting, but I worry a lot about what we're teaching our children outside of math and reading.  Starting with my generation, there was a lot of "participation trophies" and "you can do anything as long as you try" sort of self-esteem building.  Don't get me wrong, kids and adults alike both need healthy self-esteem.  The problem becomes when we give them too much they haven't earned, like this sketch from Saturday Night Live.  I worry we're raising kids who believe that wanting something is enough to get it, and not focusing on teaching them about how to work for it.  Sure, many schools are cracking down on teaching how kids should treat each other, I see great emotional education at several schools.  But I'm talking about the kind of character that Paul Tough wrote about in the book I reviewed in the last post.  That book really hit some chords for me, because I see a lot of students who have either forgotten or never knew that hard work is what makes things happen.  When I read that book, I was inspired by those character traits he found in his research, and I decided to make some posters for the classroom.

Sure, there are tons of "motivation" posters out there ready for classroom use.  But I find a lot of them cheesy, or the sayings a bit cliche, and I've never seen a poster advertising "Grit" or "Self-Control".  Self control is an especially big thing with me, I've been trying to inculcate that in my students for years now.  So, I give you my latest creation:

The colors aren't cohesive - I opted instead to give them all a diagonally striped border and tie the colors in each individual poster.  I wanted them to stand out from regular classroom decor for me.  However, should someone ask if I can recreate them in their chosen color scheme (I'd probably use different backgrounds, like strips and polka dots & plaid), I'd be more than willing to do that.  I also made them in landscape orientation, in case someone prefers that or only has room for that.

Don't forget, there's a sale going on this weekend for back-to-school.  I believe it's the standard "up to 20% off" with the extra 10% site-wide using the code BTS13.  I didn't put ALL my products on sale, but the ones I did, I put them 20% off.  Combined with the site code, that's a total of 28% off! 

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