Friday, June 22, 2012

Raising Middle Schoolers' IQ Through Character Education: Part 5

Raising middle schoolers’ EQ and IQ

According to an article from, if you think tweens and teens don't listen and don't care? Think again. If this seventh grade math teacher can get kids to be kind and work hard, you can, too.

By Jessica Kelmon

Finding inspiration

This type of leadership didn’t just happen. Schumacker might have burned out of teaching if it hadn’t been for character education. When a local elementary school invited Hal Urban, the granddaddy of moral character education, to speak, Schumacker was inspired to start immediately. The district reacted similarly, and now moral character education is taught at all of the elementary schools and both middle schools, says Nick Verhoff, Superintendent of Beavercreek City Schools (GreatSchools Rating 9).

Schumacker takes it a step further with performance character education. In 2008 he met Lickona and his colleague Matt Davidson, who taught him about class meetings, setting goals, and letting kids redo missed problems. “[It] was my ‘Aha’ moment,” Schumacker says. “Everything I do comes from them.”

It starts with kindness

Recently, a student gave Schumacker the ultimate compliment: “You definitely taught me how to be a better person.” The accolade echoes the “Caught Being Good” messages that Schumacker uses to model kindness while inspiring kids to do their best. And it’s a sign that his character lessons, which always start with kindness, are working. “It’s almost a self-fulfilling prophesy,” he says. “If you tell them they’re an amazing student, they live up to it.”


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