Guilford County, NC -- Guilford County Schools started a character development initiative last year, teaching students life lessons rather than just lesson plans. Instead of just teaching things from a textbook, teachers are taking their students out of the classroom and incorporating service projects essentially taking what they learn in the classroom and applying it to giving back.
The school district has also developed seven traits that define character. Those traits include courage, integrity, kindness, perseverance, respect, responsibility, and self-discipline.
The question though, is school the place for teaching character?
Cheryl Beeson is the Assistant Principal at Dudley High School in Greensboro. Beeson said, "I think we are a part of that community. We are in partnership with the parents and we are not the sole voice about character, but we are one of the voices and we have the responsibility."
It's not just the faculty either. Some students at Dudley High said they're ready to take on the real world thanks not only to textbooks and test scores, but also things like kindness and integrity - the idea of building character while also building a transcript.
Parris Neal, a senior at Dudley said, "If I go out into the world, it's going to be a reflection of what I learned in school from our teachers, how they treated me, how I treated them, and how my mother treated me."
Senior student, Ryan Wright defined character like this, "Character is how people see you and how you carry yourself and basically how you prepare for the real world."
If you're more interested on Guilford County's approach on character building, there are resources on their website for staff, parents, and students. It also describes the school's philosophy on building character. Guilford School's Character Development
WFMY News 2, Guilford County School District