Students at Mitchell Middle School got the message loud and clear in September: Character Matters. Doing the right thing even when you think no one is watching, matters. Trying hard and giving it your all when things are tough, matters. Recognizing that failing is just an opportunity to learn and grow, matters. Developing a growth mindset, matters.
In addition to these messages that were emphasized during Character Day at MMS on September 19, students were encouraged to be the best versions of themselves and encourage others to do the same. They were asked to think critically about their behaviour to determine if it is a true representation about who they are and what they want to be. Students were challenged to use their strengths, super power if you will, to make a positive impact in their community. Not just on Character Day, but everyday.
Following an assembly, where principal Andy Mead tossed a throwable microphone at students during a whole school discussion, classes were sent off to complete an Escape Room Challenge. This was an opportunity for students to demonstrate character as they solved challenging puzzles with a partner so they could escape in time for recess! Students could be seen working side by side and putting their minds together to find the answers. Words of encouragement from students and teachers could be heard when it seemed like some students were a little stuck. And feelings of accomplishment were expressed after completing a task that appeared daunting at first.
When asked why it is so important that we remind students early in the year that they control their destiny – that they all can be leaders by exemplifying what it means to show good character, teacher Larissa Thiessen said, “Students need to learn that what they say, do, and think matters and has an impact on the world around them. The decisions our students are making in September will set the tone for the year. Students are reminded that their actions don’t only affect themselves! Character Day was an opportunity to help empower kids to be leaders and also foster a culture of community in both our school as a whole and in our classrooms.” And that’s why character matters.