What’s Under Your Cape?

hen I began this blog as a graduate student studying education, I never imagined the friends that I would meet around the country (and world). Teachers who would take me under their wing, guide me, mentor me, encourage me, and support me in ways that I never dreamed of. Each of these teachers has blessed me in ways I could never measure and have made me a better teacher.

Today, I would like to share with you one of these amazing teachers. Barbara Greuner is the author behind The Corner on Character.

The Corner on Character
Her blog is an inspiration to thousands who read it but Barbara invites her readers to become more than followers; they become friends. I remember struggling with classroom management especially “those” behavioral students. If you are a teacher you will understand what “those” means. Barbara was there with words of encouragement and taught me to put character first.

Oh how I wanted to argue with her! I am suppose to be focusing on educating students here. I need this student to read, write, and do math. Yea… it would be great if he/she could behave but right now… I need the data to show that I am actually an effective teacher. Barbara taught me that an effective teacher knows that if you focus on character… the rest will come.

And she was right! Each time I struggled I heard Barbara’s words in my head. I would take a deep breath and take a step back. I would set academics aside and say to myself… “what is one area we can focus on together as a team?” Each student was different. One needed to focus on self esteem and realizing their self worth, another needed respect, and a third need to learn kindness. When I focused on this… the student started to change. I saw huge growth not only in their behavior and their personalities but in their academics as well.

And now Barbara has taken this wisdom and put it into a book! You can hear all of the same amazing tips and advice she has given me…

Gruener's book2
What’s Under Your Cape? is one of the summer’s hottest must read books for teachers! I have read this book twice now and will probably read it again. Don’t tell Barbara that I am wearing out my copy all ready!

Using the acronym SUPERHEROES… Barbara makes it easy for any teacher to pick up the book and start teaching character. No need for a lot of prep work. You don’t even need to read it first (although I highly recommend it) . Pick a song to teach and sing with your students. Write a question on the board for morning work or your classroom meeting discussion. Or choose one of the projects (your gonna wanna prep and read for these).

I am thinking of making each one of these a focus of the month for my students. It means we will need to double up one month but I think my 6th graders can handle it. Can you imagine an entire month of random acts of kindness? What would happen if all of your students focused on this? How would it change your classroom? How would it change your school?

If Amazon is still out of the book (they sold out!), I know Barbara had a few still for sell on her blog, The Corner on Character, but you will want to hurry. We all love this so much that soon they will be gone!

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