Wellness: Character Education
“Heartitudes and GaGE”
Aloha Parents and Students,
The Momilani culture has always impressed upon our students to try their best and work hard in school. However, we do not only emphasize academics here in school, but the “Heart” of a person is just as important in which we demonstrate love, kindness, and a caring attitude for one another!
The “Heart” traits in which we speak include: being respectful, responsible, compassionate, committed, generous, forgiving, selfless, self-disciplined, empathic, and other traits that are taught by people like parents, grandparents, teachers, friends, family members, and other significant people. “Heart” traits may also be passed on by watching and observing “positive” role models in our student’s lives which may transform an individual to become a warm and caring individual that we would want them to be.
For the 2014-15 School Year, we will start with “Heart” trait lessons (Heartitudes) and work towards the development and understanding of Momilani’s Grit and Gratitude Education (GAGE). Our “Heart” program is comprised of three parts. The first part is the “Think About It” section. Students have the opportunity to take in words of wisdom and many thought generating situations. A personal reflection allows a “heart check” of sorts as individuals formulate, develop, tweak, reveal, and determine how he or she presently lives.
The second part of our “Heart” program is the “Write About It” section. Students develop their own plan of action to various given situations, encouraging self-change. They will descriptively share ways to empower their individual hearts to be builders of relationships and develop ways to live a life full of purpose.
The last part of the “heart” which will be the most meaningful is the “Do Something About It” section. From a personal reflection…to words describing possible self-change, doing something about it allows our student’s the opportunity to practice necessary skills to live a meaningful and purposeful life towards the development of awesome relationships with family, friends, and our communities.
Thank you for your willingness to participate and maintain a proper heart. Your truthful reflections shared with those who care about you will certainly allow growth, positive change, and the development of great relationships. Apply what you learn daily and do not just complete each section for the sake of completion.
Some helpful tips for you:
Check your Heart. You might want to do a self-check to see if you are doing the right thing(s) or the appropriate thing(s) each and every moment. If your parents or family teach you not to do things at home, it probably counts all the time. Treat others the way you want to be treated! If you cannot do it at home, you probably shouldn’t do it at school…or anywhere else!
Change your Heart. Once you notice things need to be fixed…fix it! If you need to be more compassionate, add compassion to your life. If you are a bit selfish, share more. If you have problems respecting others, perhaps deep down you need to respect yourself first. In other words, find ways to change your own heart and make positive improvements to help not only yourself but others as well.
Live with a Pure Heart! Be consistent and live a lifestyle that counts. Let others see that you have made positive changes, are caring, kind, considerate, etc. Be helpful towards others and try your best to serve others and not be selfish. Forget the “Me” and focus on “We.” Be the team player and do not look only at your needs but the needs of others.
Give from your Heart! Volunteer! Help! Be kind! Be Giving! Be Generous! Do for others! Do random acts of kindness! As an example…Instead of playing video games or watching tv, go and help mom or dad, grandma or grandpa with some chores or some random act of kindness! Spend quality time with them cooking or helping them clean up. If you see someone in need, help the person. Don’t wait to be asked! Just do what you are able or capable and perhaps ask how you may assist. I’m sure the person would love the attention and gesture for assistance.
With these tips…Check it, Change it, Live it, Give it and I’m sure your heart will be on the way to a healthy development towards great relationships.
Parents of lower grade students…I highly encourage families to work with your children on the lessons to explain and give examples to your children. Each family is unique and life experiences are different so the way you explain things to your children would be different from the way I would explain things. This certainly would give you the advantage of an “Aaha” learning moment.
Parents of upper grade students…I highly encourage your involvement by making comments at the end of each lesson. Certainly, most students look for the “feedback” which in general provides a response towards positive change. You will demonstrate a great “listening” ear by providing comments to your child and allowing them to take it up a notch by challenging them as you share your thoughts, opinions, experiences to various topics. Sometimes, your simple words of encouragement may be the best!
Grit and Gratitude Education
We will also continue to build our “Grit and Gratitude Education,” integrating lessons beyond our “heart” traits. The “Grit” portion, commonly known as “Perseverance” is a continuous effort of hard work and not giving up! Students… with “grit” you will learn to face problems head on and accept that sometimes, things will not always go your way. Due to this, you will be better prepared for all of life’s bumps and bruises and understand that people are all human…that making mistakes is okay and you need to learn from them. But the real gem in life is when you put your mind to it…correcting personal mistakes, trying harder each and every time, finding new solutions to bring about your own success! With “Grit,” you will develop an attitude that will attract success, with lasting relationships in the present and future!
And of course, gratitude will teach a tremendous amount of appreciation for what we have. It’s the understanding of how fortunate we are to perhaps have the simple things in life which other individuals may not have. For example, a warm bed to sleep in, a hot lunch to eat, clean water to drink, a great school to attend, and much more. A very close friend whom I surf with, and do many other things truly has a deep and appreciation and gratitude for the simple things in life. A few years ago he was surfing alone and was bit by a 15 ft. tiger shark. He fully recovered and appreciates each and every day, working harder than ever, and trying his best to help others in return for his second chance at life. To his surprise on that day, the only person out surfing helped my friend to shore which saved his life. He recalls his encounter daily and appreciates all the things he has in life, especially his family and friends. With no time to waste, he helps someone in need whenever possible. He’s a great friend and I personally see his continued drive to work hard, his blessings and thankfulness, and his gratitude for all that he has. My friend is truly an example of “living with purpose” and giving much from his heart. I can tell that my friend lives exactly how I’ve written the “Heartitude” and “GaGE” program and utilizing the tips of the heart…“Check It, Change It, Live It, Give It.” He’s amazing and his heart is amazing!
This year, Momilani’s “Heartitude and GaGE” program will go paperless. Check the school website and the “Character Education” BLOG for updates. Lessons will be presented on the BLOG page and students will have the opportunity to print their lessons out, complete them, and submit it to their teachers.
Thank you very much for your cooperation and investment into the “Heartitude and GaGE” program. We will continue to build upon our “Great” school by supporting the character of our students. Presently, our classroom teachers and other support personnel have been in discussion with our students about life lessons through current events, literature, or real life experiences. Encourage your children to put great effort into the upcoming “Heartitude and GaGE” lessons because they will truly see awesome results when they try their best!
A not so famous person once said…”Your Heartitude is everything! Pour into yourself great character teachings from everyone who has the best to offer you and live and breathe those qualities so that you may be an example for others to see. One day, people will say kind things about you…noticing something very different about the way you present yourself and that difference will be your Heartitude! Mr. Nish.
Aloha! Mr. Nishihara, Counselor
Live With Purpose!