Teachable Virtues

Teachable Virtues


Can you believe school is starting already?

At Shady Oak Primary, we emphasize personal responsibility alongside academic achievement. If you wonder how anyone can “grade” personal responsibility—we’ll be focusing this fall on one way to do just that.

Each week, our classes will emphasize a “teachable virtue” which is easily demonstrated through behavioral examples. The virtues we will be teaching are:


Empathy—displaying concern and understanding for others’ feelings, as in putting an arm around a slumping shoulder.

Respect—appreciating others’ good points and feelings even in disagreement, as in acknowledging common ground during a debate.

Helpfulness—putting in extra effort where needed, as in picking up extra trash without being asked.

Fairness—considering the best interests of everyone, as in giving someone else a turn on your favorite swing.

Tolerance—allowing others the right to disagree with you or do things differently, as in not making fun of someone’s atypical taste in music.

Caring—having and displaying a genuine concern for others, as in handwriting an encouraging letter to a sick friend.

Courage—being willing to stand up openly for what you believe in, as in sticking up for someone who is being bullied.

Humor—laughing at frustrations and one’s own mistakes, as in being the first to make a witty remark after you miss your chair and sit down on the floor.

Loyalty—standing by what you believe in and those you care for, as in staying friends with someone who has fallen out of favor with the popular crowd.

Patience—being willing to wait for good things, as in smiling at the mail carrier even though your package is still overdue.

Courtesy—displaying good manners and consideration at all times, as in opening a door for someone loaded with packages.

Resourcefulness—being able to think of creative solutions, as in hanging up outdoor pictures after rain forces the picnic inside.

Peacemaking—helping to keep others on good terms, as in volunteering a compromise where two people can’t agree.

Self-reliance—being able to cope on one’s own, as in cooking dinner when Mom works late.

Self-motivation—having an active desire to achieve with or without reward, as in making your own separate model for fun after the class-project one is turned in.

Responsibility—being willing to do one’s duty and make amends for one’s mistakes, as in paying for the keyboard you broke without complaining about how you wanted to use that money.

Honesty—telling the truth and not trying to take shortcuts to achievement and respecting other people’s property, as in needing a quarter and still leaving all the loose change on Dad’s desk.

Trustworthiness—being someone others can always rely on, as in not reading somebody else’s private e-mail when they leave their phone within reach.

Self-discipline—being able to control oneself (especially when implementing a change of habit), as in not asking for extra dessert when your stomach is telling you it’s full.

Cooperation—working with others to achieve a mutually beneficial end, as in settling down quickly when class is about to start.

To bring these virtues further into everyday life, our teachers will keep a special eye out for students personally exemplifying the virtue of the week. Photos of our “good examples” will be posted on the bulletin board in ur library.