Project Wisdom Character Education and SEL.

Helping Students Make Wiser Choices

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Just For You

Our Just For You emails provide you with professional support throughout the school year. These thought-provoking messages are written to foster professionalism, promote ethical and caring leadership, boost morale, and improve classroom management. But most of all … to support you.

Your Genuine Self

Currently Featured Message & Lesson Plan

*Better Today Than Yesterday
Nothing good ever comes from acting as if you are better than others. Real goodness (true nobility) comes from trying to be a better person today than the person you were yesterday. Students consider setting that as a goal for themselves knowing that each day provides an opportunity to be a better person than the day before.

"I do the very best I know how, the very best I can, and I mean to keep on doing so until the end."
~ Abraham Lincoln

It's actually easy to pick out the faults in others. We may not mean to, but it can inadvertently become a great camouflage for the dissatisfaction in our own lives. When we focus on living the very best we know how – with an acknowledgement of our own faults and foibles – it can be quite humbling. By definition, humble people cannot feel superior to others. By striving daily to be our genuine best and understanding our own weaknesses, we can build empathy beyond judgement, which is a gift to everyone with whom we work and who we teach.

With something to think about . . .

Remember to take care of yourself.

List five of your best traits and then acknowledge colleagues with the same traits.

Starting with Ourselves

Originally published January 18, 2021.

Currently Featured Message & Lesson Plan

*Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday: Tough Choices
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. faced many difficult decisions in his life. With these materials, students have an opportunity to reflect on the fact that each of us faces many decisions each day. Some may be very difficult, but whatever the situation, we can learn from Dr. King's example by using these opportunities to do the right thing.

"It is curious-curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare."
~ Mark Twain

It's so easy to keep our mouths shut and do nothing in the face of injustice. We'd much rather retreat to our homes and curl up in front of our televisions. But imagine if Dr. King had sought personal comfort instead of fairness, or if Ghandi had fled instead of seeking justice. We too witness unfairness. We listen to unfair gossip. We accept news reports that may be untrue and therefore unjust. We stay silent when we hear falsehoods. We don't get involved when a student is being treated unfairly. But if the goal is to train up students with moral courage, we must start with ourselves.

With something to think about . . .

Remember to take care of yourself.

Speak up with respect and civility, even if it's tough. Don't be silenced.

In this Together Alone

Originally published January 11, 2021.

Currently Featured Message & Lesson Plan

*Creating and Sharing Positive News
It was once said that "Harmony seldom makes the headlines" (Silas Bent). So much of what is reported in the news is negative, but there is good news out there and all around us. You just have to search a little harder to find it. With these materials, students will learn how important it is to create, identify, and share positive news.

"We are in this together, alone."
~ Posted in a teacher lounge

Pedagogical literature abounds with praises for cooperative learning, which we know builds relationships and community, and enhances learning. Yet for many educators, the words, "All in this together, alone," ring true far too often. Consider this: Cooperative learning isn't just for students. If you are feeling isolated visit your colleague down the hall. If you are working remotely, call or zoom with another educator. Share best practices. Explore new ideas. Offer encouragement.

It can be tempting to isolate yourself but imagine what would happen if more educators connected with one another. Consider the positive and powerful impact on you and your students.

With something to think about . . .

Remember to take care of yourself.

Take time to connect with another educator. You might learn something very helpful.

Small Things

Originally published January 4, 2021.

Currently Featured Message & Lesson Plan

*Helpful Hands
Volunteers are essential to our homes, schools, communities, and nation. Without their help there would be much less love and joy in our world. In this message and lesson plan, students are encouraged to offer their own hands to help others in need. Each student will consider the idea that by helping others they are becoming a better person and making a real difference in the lives of others.

"If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way."
~ Napoleon Hill

When we think of helping others, it can sometimes seem like a large, daunting task. There are just so many things one can do and so much time/and or money needed to contribute. Helping others does not have to be a great sweeping process though. Oftentimes, small gestures can be just the perfect thing needed – like a phone call, greeting card, an errand run, or a dinner delivered. There are times when the only thing needed to help someone is a little compassion or a smile at just the right moment. There is no size limit when it comes to helping, everyone can contribute in some small, great way.

With something to think about . . .

Remember to take care of yourself.

Do something small but special just for you.

Family Etchings

Originally published December 21, 2020.

Currently Featured Message & Lesson Plan

*Sharing Our Lives Together
Family narratives are important because they are personal and true. They can help bond families together, and help young people better understand themselves and the world around them. As we approach the holiday season, students may be spending more time with family, which is a great opportunity to recall and collect some real family treasures.

"Family life is full of major and minor crises – the ups and downs of health, success and failure in career, marriage and divorce – and all kinds of characters. It is tied to places and events and histories. With all of these felt details, life etches itself into memory and personality. It's difficult to imagine anything more nourishing to the soul."
~ Thomas Moore

Family life does indeed "etch itself into memory," and with each new deeply felt impression more details are added to the family narrative. When was the last time you relished a few family stories, the kind that fill the soul with a sense of love and belonging and help you find your place in the world? Are there any you could share with your students, and in so doing, nourish a few young souls?

With something to think about . . .

Remember to take care of yourself.

Slip into a favorite family story, one that makes you feel loved.