Today, I took a train up to Washington, DC, from my home in Charlottesville, Virginia, to attend Character.org’s 2019 National Forum. The conference has been held for 26 years, but it’s CultureFeed’s first time in attendance, and it would be an understatement to say I’m eager to be there.
I’m excited to gather with educators who are focused on student formation beyond academic achievement—to hear about their challenges and also about what’s working. I look forward to listening to leading experts share new research and ideas, to considering how their findings and paradigms jibe with ours at CultureFeed.
My conference experience will begin with a visit to Hope Community Charter School, a 2019 School of Character recognized for its success in creating a caring community and fostering students’ self-motivation. It will be great to have “front row seats” at a school of this caliber.
The conference’s keynote speakers—from Pulitzer-nominated author Clifton Taulbert to character advocate Scarlett Lewis—are sure to be thought-provoking. It will be a challenge to choose among dozens of breakout sessions, but I’m eager to explore sessions that consider the development of virtues within various settings and investigate deliberate formation of school culture. I’m also curious to learn about the Conscious Discipline model—to follow the implications of the idea that teachers cannot teach what they haven’t internalized.
Character.org National Forum, here I come! As we say at CultureFeed, “there’s more to teaching than filling minds.” It will be great to be with people who share the same passion.