The Center for Mission & Academics
Mission Moments Blog

Character in the Classroom

Lessons of good character are embedded into every aspect of Brookfield Academy, but exactly how does one “teach” good character? 
Learning about character begins from the moment students begin their BA journey. While some examples of character can be “taught,” the concept and daily practice of character extends far beyond the pages of a book. At Brookfield Academy, we recognize that the most important contribution to our success in forming young people comes from the example set by our teachers and leaders. Children are very observant - they learn quickly how to identify what is important to the adults in their lives. Teachers are one group of adults that are uniquely positioned to lead by daily example and instruction. The value of good character is a standard that is modeled and communicated day after day by the Brookfield Academy faculty. Our teachers share why character is so important and how this concept is rooted in their everyday teachings.   
Character Education is an inherent part of the education received at BA. There is a mindfulness to the important character traits that helps the children connect lessons learned to real-life situations. This “star” of the BA Five Stars really does take center stage in the Primary School. It begins with the lessons learned at assembly. These are carried into the classroom. This mindfulness then permeates the teachable moments found throughout the school day. Seeing students grow in their character, becoming the kind, thoughtful, hardworking boys and girls they all have the capability to be, is a highlight of being a teacher at Brookfield Academy.
~Jane O’Leary,  Level B Teacher
Reading and discussing classic literature and fables opens the door to character education. Providing the opportunity for children to learn about obedience, perseverance, patience, self-discipline, gratefulness, courage, and honesty.
~Stacey Wrenn, Level 1 Teacher 

We teach character because it is necessary. Productivity doesn't just happen; it must be learned. Young people need to be taught how to give back to society and become responsible, constructive, free people. One reason the Roman Empire collapsed was because young people became complacent and disinterested in getting involved in giving back and doing their civic duty. They didn't want to lead. Children need to have role models. This is why we teach character education.
~Julie Valencia, Level 4 Teacher
Character Education is embedded in every aspect of our day at Brookfield Academy. It stems from our morning assembly, where messages of values and the Five Stars are shared with our students. These messages carry back into the classroom and are referenced throughout the day during discussions of our classics book, a historical figure or event, or even a math lesson. A classical education lends itself well to Character Education. As we focus on the development of the whole child and supporting our students to become valued citizens of society, respect and personal responsibility become a focus. Character Education becomes the heart of our curriculum.
~Tanya Schwartz, Level 5 Teacher

There is nothing more important in the education of a middle school student than the development of character. Our job, as Brookfield Academy teachers, is to explain, to give examples of, and most importantly to model character. BA families are a more eclectic group politically and religiously than ever before. That is why I tell the kids repeatedly that there would be no greater failure for me than to produce younger copies of myself. They should seek guidance from their primary teachers -- their parents -- but character transcends politics and religion. Students here are taught to be honest with themselves and others, to be kind to all, and to work up to their individual abilities.
~Jim Homan, Middle School History Teacher

The life of a school turns on its teachers being devoted to the truth, whether that is the theoretical and abstract knowledge conveyed in classrooms, or the practical wisdom that comes with working together in a community, making tough decisions, and standing by one another. In both cases, the young person's character is developed best when the school gives attention and care to the whole moral environment, that is, to whatever speaks meaningfully to the young person. When the school is a thoughtful and loving place for the young person to strive for the highest things, then the ground has been prepared for a mind to think for itself and live truthfully.   
~Mark Bullio,  Upper School Dean of Students

Character is a remarkable component of every student’s journey at Brookfield Academy and it continues to be a principal element of our school’s values, philosophy, and curriculum.  

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