Think CHARACTER COUNTS! is just for schools? Shelly Johnson has watched students be transformed not only at schools, but in the work environment at the Iowa Hall of Pride.
Probably the biggest, most impacting way we implement CHARACTER COUNTS! here at the Hall of Pride is by telling all groups, regardless of age, that we expect them to be respectful and responsible while they are here on a field trip. Although it seems very simple and obvious, some students view a field trip as a “day out of school” and a chance to be free. We want them to have fun and enjoy themselves while they are here, but we also want it to be an organized, educational experience. By simply stating that we expect them to act respectfully and responsibly, we almost never have any behavior issues. We have also worked closely with the staff from Character Counts In Iowa to host joint trainings/field experiences for students studying character and leadership development. During those joint trainings/experiences, the students are asked to dig into the exhibits and find Outstanding Iowans who display good moral and performance character and elaborate on their careers.
Personally, CHARACTER COUNTS! has a big impact on me as an employee, citizen, and parent. There are many helpful resources and opportunities offered by Character Counts In Iowa to help keep it at the forefront of my mind, such as emails or posted quotes. As I am faced with making difficult decisions, at work or home, it gives me a framework to base my decisions on. Character certainly does count – everywhere, all the time!
Prior to coming to the Hall of Pride, I was a classroom teacher and used the CHARACTER COUNTS! Six Pillars of Character language with my students. The common-ground for students and teachers to use when working together is very helpful as you try to achieve your goals. We have found the same to be true in making the Hall of Pride an enjoyable experience for the students and schools that visit.