SEPTEMBER 22, 2016—-Today is National Character Day. While many schools boast of character education programs that are a part of their instruction, at Rohan Woods we approach character development in a different way.
We have no textbooks, or manuals, or software or online options that structure what and when we teach our students about character traits. We don’t rely on a publisher to provide a module for instruction. Instead, we employ an organic method of teaching our students about leadership and the character traits that are often reflective of strong leaders.
We watch and guide and nudge our students onto a trajectory of becoming stellar role models. It’s through this gentle, daily support our students have the courage to make difficult decisions that may differ from their peers and use mistakes as a learning tool for growth rather than a reason to internally scold. We watch and wait patiently to witness a student developing, internalizing and displaying exemplary character traits.
Several years ago, one of our young alums served as a guest referee for our annual independent school floor hockey tournament for which he received a stipend. Remarkably our alum made the independent decision to use his stipend for something other than personal gain. This young man, wise beyond his years, used his stipend as seed money for a bigger cause; he wanted to give back to the school that had successfully and unconditionally loved and valued him. He reluctantly accepted the stipend, found additional means by which to earn money and proudly gave it to his mother asking to participate in the Giving Tree campaign. He wanted his very own leaf on the tree in the Great Hall, not because he wanted to visually see his name but to commemorate his time at Rohan Woods and his gratefulness for becoming a human being of strong character.
This remarkable act of selflessness speaks loud and clear about character, commitment and the importance of paying it forward. This speaks strongly about the importance of instilling character and helping our students to live by it each and every day.