Making Time for Character Education as a Classroom Teacher

“Character education isn’t something you fit on your plate.  Character education IS your plate.”

More and more, classroom teachers are feeling overwhelmed not only by the usual stuff like standards and assessments, lesson plans and grading…

…but teachers are also feeling overwhelmed as they try to manage the wide range of behaviors and social interactions of their students.  

Do you ever feel like you spend so much time reacting to how your students are behaving that you are losing instructional time?  I’m going to guess your answer is YES.

Maybe the solution is as simple as tightening up your classroom management, but chances are you are going to need to be PROACTIVE if you want to make a lasting difference in the behaviors of your students.

That’s all fine and dandy because we all have SoOoOoOooo much extra time in our days to spend on character education, right?!

WRONG.  We barely have enough time to get to all of the math, reading, social studies, writing, and science.  How in the world are we supposed to be PROACTIVE with character education?

This was a problem that I recognized during one of the toughest years of my career, and nobody seemed to have a realistic solution for me.

I needed consistent character education in my classroom.  I needed to explicitly teach my students some of the social skills that I felt were impacting the culture of our classroom.  


I knew that if I recognized the need for character education, but experienced difficulty in realistically implementing anything consistently…. other teachers might be needing this same solution that I was searching for.

Readers With Character is a character education and social skills curriculum that I have developed throughout the course of a year, and it isn’t something that has just been thrown together.  

This curriculum represents my heart and soul, because I KNOW how hard our days can be… but I also know how AMAZING our days can be when everything falls into place.

Readers With Character focuses on just ONE character trait or social skill per week, and takes only 15 minutes of instructional time per day.

Character Education: Monday

Monday, you will read a book that is going to anchor the discussion for the rest of the week.  Each mentor text has been carefully chosen specifically for that week’s character trait or social skill.

Your students will enjoy a story, and they will be able to relate and empathize with the characters in the story.  As the week goes, you will use these connections to help your students generalize the trait or skill of the week!

Character Education: Tuesday

Tuesday, your students will engage in a little reflection.  If the focus of the week is FAIR VS. EQUAL, your students will either write or draw what that means to them.

These student journals are designed to support your different learners – space for words, and space for pictures.

Character Education: Wednesday

View a short video clip from YouTube that has been specifically chosen for this week’s character trait or social skill.  Not only will the video entertain and engage your students, but it will continue the conversation and help you and your students generalize the trait or skill of the week even more!

Character Education: Thursday

On Thursdays, students will be playing games, interacting with each other, and moving around.  Each week has its own interactive lesson to support your students’ learning of this week’s skill or trait.

Character Education: Friday

Recording new learning in the student journal on Friday completes the week – again, these student journals are designed to support your different learners – space for words, and space for pictures.

Beyond what you do in your classroom, students will get to take home their student journal to share a Home Connection with their families.

My favorite part of the home connection gives families suggestions on how to generalize the character trait or social skill to their child’s life at home – character education has more lasting results when it is consistent.

Another benefit that I purposely built into this curriculum is that you can use each week’s mentor text for MORE than just character education.  Working on cause and effect?  Build that reading lesson into the week that you read “Because Amelia Smiled”!  Each book has so much value as a content area mentor text.

Being a teacher, there are other important things that I wanted to include in this curriculum for us including visuals/anchor charts, detailed lesson plans, and bulletin board elements!

I believe so much in the effectiveness of these lessons, that I’d like to offer you my favorite week – FREE!  This will give you a chance to try this routine out in your own classroom to make sure that you can devote the fifteen minutes each day to being proactive about the behaviors in your classroom.



If you already know how well this will work for your students and you, check out the full curriculum here!

OR- click here to see each of the individual weeks, and click here to see the 20-week intervention bundle!

Please let me know if you have any questions!


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