Creating Character odyprep1
Not because we give them a sticker, a token, or a trip to the treasure chest. We use specific language in our classrooms to reinforce the intrinsic pride we want our scholars to take in all they do. We don’t use generalized words of praise like “Good Job! Great Work!” instead we notice concrete, specific, behaviors. We don’t reward our scholars when they finish a job, instead, we reinforce progress at each step in the process. By refusing to take over their processes, manipulate their motives, or own their products, we allow scholars the joy of true accomplishment. And that trumps the treasure chest every time!
IB Learner Profile
Each week our scholars are introduced to a new learner profile. These character traits are specifically taught, modeled, and referenced throughout the week. The traits are based upon the International Baccalaureate Learner Profiles and along with our core values, they are posted in each classroom on campus. It is our expectation that our scholars are:
Inquirers, developing a natural curiosity for learning and researching
Knowledgeable, exploring concepts and ideas, issues of local and global significance
Thinkers, exercising initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively
Communicators, expressing ideas effectively in various modes
Principled, acting with honesty and integrity
Open-Minded, appreciating the cultures and ideas of others, exhibiting a sense of fairness and justice
Caring, showing empathy, respect, and compassion for others
Risk-takers, approaching unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought
Balanced, understanding the importance of intellectual, physical, and emotional equilibrium
Reflective, giving thoughtful consideration to their own learning experience
Love and Logic
At TOPA, character development is an integral part of our curriculum. We actively seek to create a student body culture that values and supports our core values. Our school is a place where students are transformed into scholars, where it is acceptable to excel, and engagement is expected. This culture of excellence is cultivated by a variety of means. Not every family may agree with the demands placed upon scholars, and as a school of choice, we would like to encourage both parents and scholars to lend their support to this commitment to excellence while at The Odyssey Preparatory Academy.
Scholar Responsibility/Love and Logic
Essential to our mission of preparing scholars to be productive, principled members of a global society is requiring responsibility. In fact, at The Odyssey Preparatory Academy, we have a Scholar Responsibility Policy which states that once the morning bell rings, the academic day starts. Books, backpacks, and projects that were left at home remain there, and the student accepts the consequences. Some might call this unsympathetic; but we call it: Love and Logic. From the first day of school, TOPA faculty provide a climate of appropriate limits without anger, helping scholars own and solve their problems. Love and Logic works because when scholars have to deal with the consequences of their actions, they learn to think… and when scholars learn to think, we are doing our job!
Please check back frequently for Love and Logic articles, blogs, and to sign up for parent seminars led by Megan Olson, a Love and Logic Certified Trainer!
It’s usually not the first thing you notice when touring our beautiful campuses, but usually somewhere along the line someone asks, “Hey, where’s the jungle gym?” Some see the playground, or recess, as a proving ground. A place where kids show their mettle, learn the facts of life, and toughen up a little. It’s not that we disagree, it’s just that at TOPA we see every opportunity as an educational, character-building opportunity. As a community, we are about collaboration, cooperative learning, and being purposeful in everything we do. That includes the playground. Each day during structured recess, your scholar will be encouraged to engage in a variety of purposeful, age-appropriate, and physically challenging activities. And in that format, they will learn to take turns, resolve disputes, and contribute to a team.
To learn more about our philosophy of play and see some of the outdoor activities our scholars do each day, visit the Peaceful Playgrounds website.
Another way scholars exhibit character is by solving their own problems. There is an Odyssey way to deal with conflict: By facing it. All of our team members: parents, teachers, and scholars are asked to own their own problems. Differences of opinion happen. And some conflict is healthy. However, whether it is a disagreement about a lesson plan between two teachers, a disagreement about a homework assignment between a teacher and a scholar, or a disagreement about the lunch menu and the front office staff, we require that all team members become self-advocates, treat one another with respect, and most of all solve the problem with those it involves.