Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Teaching Character #1: I Totally Underrated Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence

When I looked at the list of 24 Character Strengths, I ranked Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence at #14. When I got back my VIA score, it was my #1 character strength.

That said a lot to me. It means that I have a character strength that I don't recognize as something important for my kids to have (at least as part of the top 10). When I watched the video on character strengths, I was amazed that "Love" ranked #1 among teachers and administrators (I got this as #5 in my character strengths) but ranked way below that when they were considering what character strengths their students should have.

I am led back to the idea of education as real learning...and not the output of a society that is driven by productivity (and profit, if I might add). It has to do with individuals and unique ways of seeing the world. It has to do with appreciating what is beautiful in the world and what makes myself and others happy.

I'm humbled by my own VIA score. It shows me what kind of person I am and not the person I wish I could be. My leadership strength was at #22!!! But I ranked high in gratitude, fairness, hope, and love of learning. And there's nothing wrong with that. It's a snapshot of where I am right now.

I'm very happy to have gone through this exercise. And I'm really grateful for a guide in terms of character strengths which cut across religions and politics which I can apply not just to my children's education but to my own continuing education as well.

Note: I am taking a 4-week class called Teaching Character and Creating Positive Classrooms (offered by Relay Graduate School of Education via as part of my endeavors to enrich my homeschooling experience. 

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