Issuu on Google+

m

Sa e

pl on ly


CHARACTER

AN INTRODUCTION TO

Introduction

on ly

Without your even knowing it, your experiences in life have built your character. Your parents, family, friends, teachers, and communities all have had a stake in building you up to be the person you are today. Every interaction that you have with another human being or living creature shows what type of person you are. How are you respectful? How are you responsible? How are you caring? How are you fair? How are you a good citizen? Believe it or not—how you answer those questions says a lot about the type of person that you are and are becoming.

People of character choose to make good choices and are firm in their words and actions. They have a firm foundation behind them so that they can make choices that impact the world around them. People of character take the lead and succeed. They have figured out what it takes to be a good person today so that they can

e

continue to make a difference tomorrow.

m

pl

No one said it would be easy, though. Being a person of character is difficult. You have to figure out what is right in a world that is full of wrongs and stick to it, even when someone close to you might try to pressure you into another direction. Every single day is a challenge. Every day there are opportunities to make mistakes, pick up the pieces, and make better decisions tomorrow.

Sa

As you read on, you will discover how to become a person of character in communication, in relationships, in your decision-making, in time-management, in dealing with change and stress, and in being a global citizen. A person of character must be aware of all of these things in order to truly find balance and truth in his/her life.

2


People of Character… in Communication

on ly

You communicate with others every day through your words, actions, facial expressions, but most of all, through your character. How you choose to communicate is a direct reflection of your character. Let’s face it—sometimes our communication is great, but other times, it just stinks. Communicating as a Middle School Student • Instant Messaging Online • Cell Phones – Texting, Talking & Emailing – Including Photos • Social Networking Sites (My Space, Facebook) • Blogging • Face-to-Face Talking

m

You need to text a friend to see if he/she is coming to the movie at 7 pm.

pl

Greeting your best friend in person at the mall.

e

Instructions: Write a statement explaining how you would communicate in each of these situations. Include words and what kind of body language you may be conveying.

Sa

Calling a friend from school to get help with a math problem.

Asking your teacher a question about a science assignment.

You think your parents are being unfair about not allowing you to go to a basketball game with a friend.

A blog entry on your personal webpage of your day at school. A post on a social networking site about your day.

3


AN

INTRODUCTION

NETWORKING

TO

Networking

Types of Communication

on ly

A person of character must realize that every interaction he/she has with another living thing communicates a message—good or bad. That’s because communication has something called tone. Tone is how something is perceived or interpreted based on how the communication took place. The way a message is received depends upon the tone that is shared during the communication.

1) One-on-one or face-to-face • Easy to read body language and facial expressions • Can look someone in the eye when speaking to them in person • Feel the “tone” of what they are trying to say to you • Conversation is private in nature, can’t be “forwarded” to others

e

2) Talking on the phone • You cannot read facial expressions or see body language • You can still hear the “tone” of their voice (annoyed, happy) • Tend to use a lot of words to describe how you are feeling

Sa

m

pl

3) Text Messaging , Instant Messaging & Email • Can’t see their face or hear their voice to know their “tone” • Tend to use a lot of abbreviations to save time – sometimes that means people will take your message the wrong way • Easier to misinterpret – you were trying to be funny, but your friend thought you were being mean and their feelings got hurt • Typed words don’t have any emotional sounds to them, so we use emoticons like :), LOL, or ha-ha, for example, to help the other person know what we mean. • It is harder to take back something once you type it, and also easy for someone to forward your private conversation to others.

What are some of the emoticons and abbreviations for phrases that you tend to use in text on a daily basis? Why do you use them?

4


Differences In Communicating With Friends, Parents and Teachers Friends – you use slang and jargon and tend to abbreviate when texting or emailing to your friends.

on ly

Parents, Grandparents & Teachers – you probably use less slang or jargon because parents and teachers don’t always appreciate the use of slang. For written communication with this group, you’ll want to use proper grammar and punctuation. How do you maintain integrity in the different types of communication and not harm your character?

Safety Online and With Social Networking Sites

m

pl

e

Social networking sites are very popular. The space that you create on the site is your identity and personality, yet you need to keep your identity as safe as possible. Never give personal information that would make it easy for a stranger to figure out who you are. Set your settings to only let “friends” view your page and not “friends of friends.” By doing this, you have the control over who is viewing your information and photos. Post only things you would be OK with your parents seeing. Every time you post something you are leaving a “digital footprint” of yourself. Your integrity is in what you post— photos, status updates, and messages to your friends. Once it is online, you can’t take it back.

Sa

List a time when you or a friend of yours posted something they wished they could take back. How did you (or they) feel after they posted it? What could you (or what could they) have done differently?

5


AN INTRODUCTION TO

RELATIONSHIPS

People of Character in Relationships

on ly

What builds a relationship? A healthy and strong relationship is built on trust. Trust isn’t something that just happens. It has be earned, nurtured, and worked on every day. When you take the time to build relationships with the people in your life, you will be connected to them in a healthy and strong way. Connectedness is what holds relationships together, and people of character know how to stay connected to one another. Choose your relationships wisely, and take the time to build them to be strong and healthy. Who is your best friend? Describe him or her. Explain what traits you admire about him or her.

pl

e

Were you two best friends the day you met? Probably not. You knew you liked being around them, but you weren’t about to spill your deepest, darkest secrets with that person on the first day of your friendship. You had to get to know him/her, share some experiences together, and build a trust before sharing that kind of information. If you can’t trust someone, are they really worth your time?

m

List three ways that you can show you are trustworthy. 1. .....................................................................................

Sa

2. ..................................................................................... 3. .....................................................................................

Relationships with Parents and with Friends

How connected you feel with another person depends mostly on interaction. The bond that you have with your mom and dad should be different than the bond you have with a close friend. Those relationships are supposed to be different, and how a person builds a relationship is what makes the bonds weak or strong. You may not see eye to eye with your parents all the time, but you are still bonded to them. You may have disagreements with your friends, but you still share the bond of friendship.

6


Relationships in School

on ly

Relationships in school take on many meanings. You have relationships with teachers, principals, and counselors that are on a professional level. You have the students you see in the hallway as acquaintances, but you really don’t know them as a person. You have the students that you have class with each day. You might sit next to someone or work with a team for a project, but he or she may not be a close friend. You have your core group of friends that you hang out with whenever you can. All of these relationships build your school environment. If any one of those relationships is out of whack, your day could go from fabulous to horrible in a heartbeat. What’s funny about it all is that if one relationship is out of whack, quite possibly one of your other relationships will be the help you need to get your day back on track. Take the time to build solid relationships at school, as you spend much of your day there. Knowing that you have people you can trust can make all of the difference in your outlook on life.

e

Who have you built strong relationships with at school?

pl

Good Character in Relationships

Sa

m

It’s important to understand that we all have differences. Because we have differences, we can learn from one another. People of character are not biased or rude to other people. Instead, they take the high road and treat people with respect, no matter what people around them say. This can be difficult when you decide to befriend the new kid, the student who obviously doesn’t have any friends, or to come to the aid of someone who is being bullied or sexually harassed while your group of friends snickers in the background. A person of character doesn’t stand by and let someone else do what is right. He/she knows what is right in a given situation, and will do whatever it takes to help someone out. He/she is not caught up with social status, what people think of them, or how much money someone has. He/she believes that being a person of character is about doing good things with each day. What school officials can you go to or hotlines can you call or text if you need to report bullying or harassment in your school?

7


DECISIONS

AN INTRODUCTION TO

People of Character… in Decision Making Decisions. Decisions. Decisions. We make hundreds of decisions each day—from what to eat to what to wear to how to treat the kid you sit next to on the bus or the lunchroom. Decisions are everywhere. What you decide is entirely up to you.

on ly

Being a person of character means that as you are making these hundreds of decisions each day, you are asking yourself, “Am I keeping what is right at the forefront?”

Too many times it’s easy to get caught up in peer pressure and the desire to belong to the group and not stick out. But it’s in those times that decision-making is most important. Name a situation that you were in recently where you didn’t agree with your friends: .......................................................................................................................................

e

....................................................................................................................................... Did you make a stand for your opinion? .....................................................................

pl

What was the outcome? ................................................................................................ .......................................................................................................................................

m

No one wants to stick out. It is a human’s desire to belong to the group. But sometimes making a good decision means making a conscious choice to “stick out” and do what is good and right for you.

Sa

Pressure to try alcohol/drugs/tobacco

There may be times in your life when you are offered drugs or alcohol by a peer. There are so many risks that are involved when you choose to use drugs or alcohol. Your body is at a stage of development that it cannot handle such things—thus why it is illegal for you to smoke, drink, or use drugs. Rules are made for your safety, and should not be broken. Not only does the use of drugs or alcohol hurt your body, it impairs your judgment and could lead you to make decisions that you will regret later.

8


Relationships

Hang out with your friends at school. If you can, eat lunch together. Go to the movies. Spend time at sporting events and cheering each other on. Join clubs or teams together and become active in service organizations.

e

1) 2) 3) 4)

on ly

Middle school is a time in your life when you begin to notice people of the opposite sex. Boys are suddenly cute or handsome, and girls are suddenly beautiful and mysterious. This is when decision-making is very important. Friendship is most important during this time in your life. Becoming involved in a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship may not be right for you. The choice is yours. There are more kids than not that choose to be friends with kids of the opposite sex and make a conscious decision to not become involved physically or sexually with another person. When you become involved in a physical relationship with another person, more decisions have to be made, and quite frankly, your adolescent mind is not ready to make those decisions. So the best way to deal with the opposite sex is to just be friends. Sometimes when the boyfriend/girlfriend thing is added into the mix, it causes friendships to feel awkward and weird. Instead, try some of these things:

pl

You’ll find that the time that you spend together will be way more fun!

m

People of character take decision making very seriously. How you choose to live your life is a direct reflection of your character. The decisions you make today impact your future. Make those decisions wisely. List five important decisions you have made today: 1. .......................................................................................................................................

Sa

2. ....................................................................................................................................... 3. ....................................................................................................................................... 4. ....................................................................................................................................... 5. ....................................................................................................................................... Which one impacted you the most? .......................................................................................................................................... Were you able to be a positive role model for someone else? .......................................................................................................................................... ..........................................................................................................................................

9


CHANGE

AN INTRODUCTION TO

People of Character… in Dealing with Change

on ly

Middle School is often a time of transition for many kids. You are no longer an elementary student, but you’re not yet in high school. It’s a time of exploration and trying to figure out who you really are. There are so many changes, that sometimes you probably feel like your head is just spinning!

New School

You might be in a new school building or a different wing of your school. This new environment might feel daunting and overwhelming at first, but be assured that as you take the time to adjust to this new change in your life, it will get better! Maybe you have a new schedule to deal with—going from having only a couple teachers to having more. That is going to take some adjusting as well. What was the biggest change for you when you came to the middle school?

..........................................................................................................................................

e

..........................................................................................................................................

pl

Did you feel it was positive? Or negative? How did you deal with the change?

............................................................................................................

m

...........................................................................................................

New Challenges

Sa

But probably the biggest change is the shift in responsibility that comes with being in the middle school or progressing through the grades in a middle school. Every year adds more responsibility. Your parents expect more of you. Your teachers expect more of you. Your coaches expect more of you. Expectations get higher and higher.

10


What expectations do you feel you need to meet each day? ................................................................................................................ ............................................................................................................. ...........................................................................................................

on ly

.........................................................................................................

Development Changes

pl

e

On top of all of this, you are changing quite rapidly. This time in your life is called adolescence. There may be lots of ups and downs in your mood—one minute you feel wonderful and ready to take on the world and the next you’re ready to retreat and just be by yourself for awhile. Physically your body is developing its way into adulthood, and with that, your body image is changing. Your voice changes, the shape of your body changes, you are dealing with physical aspects of growing up that seem awkward and sometimes embarrassing, and you feel like you’re on an emotional rollercoaster! Mentally, you can’t wait to grow up, but then again you might be scared to take on the responsibility of what adulthood brings with it. Guess what? All of this is normal. But it doesn’t make it any easier to handle every single day.

Sa

m

The changes that you see in your body and your mind sometimes cause changes to happen in other aspects of your life. The relationships you have with your friends and family probably will change slightly. What is important throughout it all is that you remember that people of character take the time to think before they speak. Often times we say things that we really don’t mean, and we end up hurting someone. Take the time to remember that if you value the relationships that you have with your family and friends, you will take the time to build those relationships every single day and not take a day off! If the relationships you have with friends and family stay stable, dealing with the changes that are happening elsewhere will be way easier! How do you feel you have changed from elementary school? .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... ..........................................................................................................................................

11


TIME

MANAGEMENT

People of Character… in Time Management Do you feel like you’re always busy? Do you feel like you’re always trying to juggle several things that you’re involved in just to keep your head above water?

on ly

Make a list of everything that you have to do today, from the time you got up this morning to when you will go to bed tonight. Include any extra-curricular activities or family obligations. .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... Are they all of equal importance?...................................................................................

e

What would you take out if you could? ..........................................................................

pl

What would the effect be? ...............................................................................................

Sa

m

Young adults today are busy. It’s a fact of life in our society. The toughest part is finding balance in your life as a young teenager. You need time with your friends, time for your activities, time with your family, and most importantly, time for you. Carving out enough time for each of those aspects of your life is difficult, but it can be done well if you plan for it!

12


Time management tools You have been given a great tool for time management—this planner! Your teachers and your parents expect you to use it, but your planner isn’t about them—it’s about you! If you learn to use your planner well now, you will set yourself up for success.

How to use your planner:

on ly

1. Write down all of your school assignments and long term projects. 2. Keep track of elective courses.

3. Log all of your activities after school, even your family activities.

4. Make sure you include anything you are planning for the weekend.

5. Don’t forget down time. Leave open some space in your schedule when you are at home that you can relax.

E

SEPTIEMBR

Naugahyde, plast ut. atuck, Connectic created in Naug

AUG 30

AUG 31 ESDAY miércoles

✓ WEDN

SEPT 2

DAY viernes

✓ FRI

URDAY

✓ SAT

SUNDAY

'11 F S 1 8 4 5 6 7 15 11 12 13 14 22 18 19 20 21 29 25 26 27 28

OCTOBER M T W T

2 9 16 23 30

3 10 17 24 31

sábado

SEPT 3

SEPT 4

domingo

Weekly Goals

RESPECT:

tone of your Be cautious of the ges. email or text messa

/ READING LANGUAGE ARTS

/ READING LANGUAGE ARTS

Sa

DIES SOCIAL STU

m

SCIE NCE DIES SOCIAL STU

SEPT 1

jueves THURSDAY

S

MATH

AUG 29

es TUESDAY mart

MATH

MONDAY lunes

KNOW? DID YOicU"leath er," was

pl

ER

SEPTEMB

'11 SEPTEMBER T F S S M T W 1 2 3 8 9 10 4 5 6 7 15 16 17 11 12 13 14 22 23 24 18 19 20 21 29 30 25 26 27 28

SCIE NCE

2011

e

6. Review your week-at-a-glance often. You will find that the time spent working with your planner will pay off in many ways.

E: CHALLENG CHARACTERto display do What will you this week? RESPECT

THE WEEK: QUOTE OF

AFTER SCHOOL:

your dreams come If you want to make to do is wake up. first thing you have - J.M. Power

AFTER SCHOOL: AFTER SCHOOL:

true, the

AFTER SCHOOL: AFTER SCHOOL:

Time In: Initial: PARENT/GUARDIAN SIGNATURE:

S HALL PAS

To:

To:

Time Out:

Time Out:

Time In:

Time In:

Initial:

Initial: TCC

To:

To:

Time Out:

Time Out:

Time In:

Time In:

Initial:

Initial:

PARENT/GUARDIAN SIGNATURE:

TCC

PARENT/GUARDIAN SIGNATURE:

To: Time Out: Time In: Initial:

Time Out: Time In: Initial:

COMMENTS

Time Out:

COMMENTS

S HALL PAS

To:

To:

To: To:

TCC

18

13

PARENT/GUARDIAN SIGNATURE:

To:

Time Out:

Time Out:

Time Out:

Time In:

Time In:

Time In:

Initial:

Initial: Initial: TCC

PARENT/GUARDIAN SIGNATURE:

19

TCC

): CODES (TCC COMMENT TEACHER Necessary IN: Improvement GW: Good Work e Attitud PA: Poor e EA: Excellent Attitud TA: Tardy/Absent GA: Good Attendance DC: Disrupts Class ation GP: Good Particip Need Work RW: Relationships GS: Good Social Skills LA: Late Assignments Well MT: Manages Time


STRESS

DEALING WITH

People of Character… in Dealing with Stress Is being a middle school student stressful? There are lots of middle school students who feel stressed every day. What types of things “stress” you out?

on ly

.......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... ..........................................................................................................................................

School

pl

e

There’s the pressure to do well in school and get good grades for yourself and also to please parents. With this pressure comes the stress of more homework than was had in elementary school. It’s expected as you grow and develop mentally, you need to be challenged to think in more diverse ways, therefore, with each year in school comes higher expectations from teachers. And then several times a year, stress levels rise in your schools as it’s time to take the tests for chapters or state/national assessments. All of this could stress a person out…and this is just from school.

Sa

m

Friends What about outside of academics? There’s stress that can come from friends and dealing with “middle school drama.” You know what this is—this person isn’t talking to that person because he said this or she said that, and the group that you hang out with is getting all upset and talking about it which causes even more stress so now no one is talking to anyone. Or when someone starts a rumor about a person and it truly does end up hurting the person that it is about because it wasn’t true in the first place. A person of character will choose not to take part in the “drama.” They take the high road. No one wants to be hurt emotionally or physically. Do your best to keep hurt from happening to yourself or others.

14


Do you have friends that cause a lot of drama? .............................................................................. .............................................................................

Family

e

on ly

Family life can also cause stress in your life. There are so many types of families these days. There are traditional family units, but there are lots of kids that shuffle between parents on weekends or during the week, which makes it hard to have continuity in life. The biggest thing to remember is to figure out what works for your family. Celebrate the relationships that you have with your family, and try not to let your emotions control you. People of character take each day as it comes and try to figure out how to do something good with that day. Yelling at your little sister or your mom isn’t going to fix anything. Exhibit some self-control, share your feelings when you are having a good or bad day, and act in appropriate ways. You will be less stressed and better able to deal with family stressors.

pl

What do you like most about your family structure? ...................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................

m

What do you like the least?......................................................................................... ...................................................................................................................................... Share these thoughts with them!

Sa

Don’t forget that taking time for YOU is a great way to relieve stress! You need downtime every day to decompress and reflect on your day. This time alone allows your mind and body to get the rest it needs. You need to rest your world so that you can take on a new day tomorrow. Remember, schedule that time for you. Your mind and body will thank you for being respectful and responsible to you, and your stress levels will decrease!

What do you like to do for fun? ...................................................................................................................................... ...................................................................................................................................... How often do you get to do it? ....................................................................................

15


CITIZEN

BEING A GLOBAL

People of Character… in Becoming a Global Citizen We live in a global society. Goods and services are traded all over the world every single day. The Internet has expanded the availability of products by the click of a mouse. We are connected to people worldwide through technology on many levels, but there are other ways that we can be connected.

Ways you can impact the World:

on ly

Being a global citizen means that you are aware and see the impact of your personal decisions on your surroundings. Taking the time to care about your own school, city, state, nation and world means that every day is an opportunity to bring about change.

Education – the things you learn in school directly apply to the world when you become part of the workforce or consume products.

Earth – initiate a recycling program and create awareness in your community.

e

Volunteerism – find organizations that need help supporting their causes to improve homelessness, hunger, or immigrant transition.

pl

Your Challenge – Find some positive way that you can give back to your community and “Step up” to Citizenship.

“Step up” to Citizenship

m

*Instructions: Citizens impact the world with their personal decisions. Take a minute to fill in the staircase with things that you can do to impact each of the communities in which you are a member. Remember, every day is an opportunity for good citizens to bring about change! World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Sa

..............................................................

Nation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .................................................................

State . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ....................................................................

City . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...................................................................... School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ......................................................................... 16


Middle School Character Supplement