How Are Your Grades?

“Reputation is character minus what you’ve been caught doing.”
— Author Unknown

In my classroom I teach my students about reputation by telling them, “I am going to read some names to you. I don’t want you to say anything. I just want you to listen. Listen carefully. There will be a test at the end. I slowly read the names of 5 or 6 people currently featured in popular youth media.

At the end of the list I wait a few more moments, then I say. “As I listed those names, thoughts went through your mind. Some of them were good, some of them were bad.” I then pick a student to share a bad thought he had about somebody. After the sharing I ask if anybody else had the same thought. There are murmurs of agreement. I do the same with good thoughts.

I then say to the students, “Your reputation is the very first thing somebody thinks about YOU when they hear your name.” That statement –in ten years of teaching — always receives a few moments of stunned silence. Then we go on to discuss the ways one builds a reputation and the way one changes it.

Always, always at the end of the discussion as we prepare to move on to the next thing some one says, “I thought there was going to be a test.”

And I answer, “There is sweetheart. It’s called life. The reputation you build is the grade you earn.”

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 11th, 2006 at 10:52 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

12 Responses to “How Are Your Grades?”

  1. July 12th, 2006 at 2:23 am

    Cindy says:

    How very true. Thanks for visiting my blog and for your comments there- I appreciate your thoughts and know that you are right.

  2. July 12th, 2006 at 9:24 am

    QUASAR9 says:

    Magic Charlene,
    Your students must surely get good grades in life, and all its varied manifold rewards

  3. July 12th, 2006 at 9:42 am

    Disciple Quilldancer says:

    Cindy — all God’s children make mistakes, that’s why we have Jesus.

    Q — one came back this year with his high school diploma in hand and told him he hated school until he came to my class and I taught him that learning is interactive and you get out of it what you put in.

    I teach reading, writing and arithmetic, but my primary goal is teaching children how to think for themselves (please don’t tell the government).

  4. July 12th, 2006 at 10:51 am

    one voice says:

    Disciple, That is a great way to help students realize the importance of their reputation. I hope you don’t mind that I will use the same idea to help my children, who are also my students.
    By the way I found your blog because you posted on a blog called the lost crow . The lost crow posted on my blog and …ect. ect. ect.
    Anyway, I wish lost crow knew my God too.

  5. July 12th, 2006 at 11:19 am

    Disciple Quilldancer says:

    One Voice — please take what you need. My posts are here to share, use and — if someone is so inclined — discuss.

  6. July 15th, 2006 at 7:39 pm

    MendySue says:

    How do you get a page like this?

  7. July 15th, 2006 at 9:23 pm

    Disciple says:

    Like which? Need a more specific question to answer please. You want stuff in the sidebars? A video? What?

  8. July 16th, 2006 at 11:48 pm

    Anonymous says:

    Great lesson.

  9. July 16th, 2006 at 11:49 pm

    goldennib says:

    That was Vanessa above.

  10. July 18th, 2006 at 3:35 pm

    Brooke says:

    You really are a natural teacher and a natural at inspiring the children whose lives you touch. (Is whose correct or should it be whos? Grandma would want me to have it correct… lol)

  11. July 18th, 2006 at 5:11 pm

    Disciple Quilldancer says:

    The lives belong to the children, dear niece, so it is who’s.

  12. July 19th, 2006 at 8:04 am

    Killired says:

    oh my gosh… this is awesome!!!!!
    i love it!!!!! what grade do you teach?