Character: What you do even when no one is looking
As we look to prepare our students for independence and success in college, one critical component of our work is the development of a student’s character. We understand the pressures student will face once they walk on their future college campuses. They will face pressure from their peers to participate in activities they may not necessarily agree with in order to “be in the group” or they may succumb to academic pressures and compromise their integrity by failing to do their own work. I can go on and on about the potential opportunities to make poor judgment our young adults will be presented with once they leave the halls of the Simpson Upper School, but we focus on providing an educational experience that promotes the skill development that will positon them to act boldly in those moments, and to exercise a strong moral compass. It is our hope the lessons learned here will help them to make wise and good decisions that will speak to their character more than anything else.
This year, we began our year by signing our commitment to uphold the values of our School’s Honor Code, that each member of the Upper School will do their own work, tell the truth, and respect the person and property of others. The public commitment to be men and women of character is a small example of the lessons we are trying to instill in our students. During chapel, we hear the moral teachings of scripture to help guide our thoughts and actions outside of Chapel.
When students make mistakes, and we all know they will make mistakes, each member of the Upper School works mightily to help them understand their error and works with them as they learn to make the right decision. But what happens when there is no one around to correct their mistakes, will students have the character to make the right choice when no one is around? Isn’t this the true definition of character? We can all appear to be men and women of character when we are around our teachers, peers, and colleagues. True character is what you do when no one you know is around you. True character, at times, will cost you personally, including your friends. At the end of the day, doing the right thing makes our community stronger, and our society better.
We are confident our students are living lives rooted in true character after they leave our halls. It is our hope they will always do the right thing when no one is looking, even at personal cost.
All Saints’ Episcopal School is a leading college preparatory day school in Fort Worth, Texas. Grounded in the Episcopal school tradition, All Saints’ offers programming of national distinction in the academic, fine art, athletic and spiritual disciplines, which brings to life our philosophy of promoting each student’s individual genius within.