Your attitude is the way you feel about a particular events and situations. It shows in your words and in your actions.
Why is it important to have a positive attitude toward school, your family, and your friends? Do you surround yourself with people who have a positive attitude?
Synonyms for attitude: perspective, mood, opinion, point of view
Recommended Reading:
Still Me by Christopher Reeve--The whole world held its breath when Christopher Reeve struggled for life on Memorial Day, 1995. On the third jump of a riding competition, reeve was thrown headfirst from his horse in an accident that broke his neck and left him unable to move or breathe. In the years since then, Reeve has not only survived, but has fought for himself, for his family and for the hundreds of thousands of people with spinal cord injuries in the United States and around the world. And he has written Still Me, the heartbreaking, funny, courageous, and hopeful story of his life.


Believe in Yourself


Caring means being interested or concerned about someone or something. It’s easy to see that your family and friends care about you. But what about other people in your life?
Who are some people you are around every day who care about you and want you to do well? Do YOU care about those people in return?
Synonyms: fond, friendly, sympathetic, tender
Antonyms: antagonistic, cold, cool, disliking, undemonstrative


Your character is the sum of all the qualities that make you who you are. It’s your values, your thoughts, your words, your actions…in other words it’s YOU! Like it or not, you will often be judged by your character. Why is it important that you develop strong character traits? What are some situations in which your character might shine?


Class and Grace


A commitment is an agreement or a pledge to do something in the future. It’s like a promise, and when you commit to something you are giving your word that you will do it. What re some examples of commitments you have made? What are the consequences of not honoring a commitment?
Synonyms: duty, pledge, promise
Antonyms: broken promise, denial, refusal

Common Ground


Communications is the means by which people exchange information. The people who get ahead in life are the people who can communicate. What re the different forms of incoming communication (the ways you receive information) and outgoing communication (the ways you give information to others)? Why is it important to develop ALL of your communication skills?


Compassion is a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering. Compassion is an awareness of other people's problems and the desire to help. It can involve your family, your friends, or total strangers.
Do you consider yourself to be a person of compassion? What are some situations in which you have shown compassion?
Recommended Reading: Mother Teresa in the series, People who have helped the world.
In 1948, Mother Teresa started her work in Calcutta among those who were at the very bottom of human society--people who were destitute, cast out, mentally disabled, and homeless, people who were dying with no one to care form them. She started with no money at all and no organization behind her. What she had was a profound conviction that if she acted out of love, all else would follow.
Synonyms could be: sorrow, mercy, grace, empathy



Confidence is a feeling of belief, or of being certain of something. It’s also called self-esteem. Being confident in yourself and your abilities is very important to your success in school and in life. What are some things that you that you feel very confident about? In what areas of your life do you lack self-confidence? What are some things that could make you feel more confident in yourself?


is not the absence of fear--it is the ability to face your fear. It takes courage to do lots of things, like playing a new sport, trying out for a part in the school musical, or giving a speech in front of the whole class.
Why is it important that you show courage when facing new challenges? Can you think of a situation in which you had to show courage?
Synonyms: bravery, gallantry, nerve
Antonyms: cowardice, fear, meekness


Courtesy is a show of respect and consideration for others. Sometimes people show “common courtesy” to strangers and old people, but show no courtesy to the people who are closest to them, like friends and family.
Have you recently shown a lack of common courtesy to a family member or a friend? What should you do to correct the situation and prevent it from happening again?
Synonyms: consideration, generosity, thoughtfulness
Antonyms: bad manners, discourtesy, impoliteness, pompousness, rudeness
Books to read:
Schindler's List by Thomas Keneally--A stunning novel based on the true story of how German war profiteer and factory owner Oskar Schindler came to save more Jews form the gas chambers than any other single person during World War II. In this milestone of Holocaust literature, thomas Keneally uses the actual testimony of the Schindler's Jews to brilliantly portray the courage, generosity, and cunning of a good man in the midst of unspeakable evil.



Dependability means people can count on you. It means you follow through on your promises and do the things you say you are going to do. When was the last time someone let you down? Do you remember how that made you feel? What does it say about your character if you lack dependability?
Synonym: allegiance, fidelity, loyalty
Antonym: dishonesty, disloyalty, falseness, inconstancy, treachery




Diligence means sticking to a task until it is completed or mastered. Some people cal lit stick-to-it-ive-ness! It could involve homework, learning to play the guitar, shooting three-pointers, or any other task you are trying to be good at. What are some things you are working on that requires diligence? How will diligence help you once you get into high school or college?

Do Your Part



Effort is your willingness to try. It’s easy to put a lot of effort into things you like and things you are good at. What’s hard is putting the same effort into things you DON’T like and DON’T do well. But that is where your effort is needed the most! In which school subjects are you putting most of your effort? Which subjects could use a little more effort on your part?



Enthusiasm is the level of excitement you feel about something. Your enthusiasm shows that you are interested and that you care.
Having enthusiasm for certain subjects or activities can lead you toward long term goals or your chosen career. What are you enthusiastic about? How could your enthusiasm create opportunities for you later in life?
Synonyms of enthusiasm: devotion, passion, spirit, vivacity



Fairness has many meanings, like doing the right thing, treating people the way they should be treated, and being impartial—not taking sides. You’ve heard the expression, “Life isn’t fair,” and sometimes it’s true. But sometimes it might be YOU who is being unfair. Can you think of a time when you treated a friend or family member unfairly? If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?
Synonym: justice, open-mindedness, truth, uprightness
Antonym: inequity, injustice, partiality, unfairness, wrong


Focus means concentration. It involves paying attention and avoiding distractions. Whether you’re learning geography or guitar or basketball, staying focused is an important part of learning. Can you identify some things that cause you to lose focus when you are studying or working on a project? How can you create a study environment that will help you stay focused?





Generosity is the act of giving. Often it means giving up money or possessions. But it can also mean giving your time, or a listening ear, or kindness, or a smile. So you see, you don’t have to be rich to be a generous person—we all have things we can give.
In what ways do you show generosity in your everyday life? How are other people generous toward you?
Synonym: charity, philanthropy, stewardship
Antonym: greed, meanness, selfishness, stinginess

An excellent read would be Three Cups of Tea by Greag Mortenson and David Oliver Relin, Adapted by Sarah Thomson.
In 1993, Greg Mortenson tried to climb K2. On the way down, he became lost in the mountains of Pakistan and stumbled into a poor village. There, the village chief and his people offered Greg even more than three cups of tea: they nursed him back to health. Moved by their kindness, he promised to return and build a school for their children. this is the storiy of that promise's extraordinary result. Despite death threats, a kidnapping, and more, Mortenson has built over 60 schools--especially for girls-- in Pakistan and Afghanistan. He has dedicated his life to prmoting peace through education, one child at a time.

Giving Back

Good Manners


Hard Work

Hard work is about risk. It begins when you deal with the things you would rather not deal with: fear of failure, fear of standing out, fear of rejection. Hard work is about training yourself to leap over this barrier, tunnel under that barrier, drive through the other barrier and after you’ve done that, to do it again the next day.

Helping Others


Honesty is truthfulness. It means you are not going to lie or cheat or steal. Honesty is one of the building blocks of strong character, and it is something you display every day of your life. Do you think of yourself as an honest person? Do you think other people consider you to be honest? Is it ever OK to NOT be honest with people?
Synonyms: honor, genuine, virtue
Antonyms: cheating, deceit, deception, lying
Recommended Reading:
The Cheating Culture by David Callahan
Cheating is up. In fact, cheating is everywhere. Some of this cheating involves violating the law; some does not. Either way, most of it is by people who, on the whole, view themselves as upstanding members of society. Again and again, Americans who wouldn’t so much as shoplift a pack of chewing gum are committing felonies at tax time, betraying the trust of their patients, misleading investors, ripping off their insurance company, lying to their clients, and much more. What’s going on here?



Humility means being humble, or not thinking that you’re “all that”! It’s important for you to be confident about yourself. But going too far means you’re cocky and arrogant. And that’s not a good thing. Humility makes you believe that there is still more you can do to learn and improve. Do you know someone who could use a dose of humility? Have you ever gone a little overboard and forgotten about being humble.

Including Others


Resourcefulness or ingenuity is the ability to find a way to get things done. It means you can figure things out even if the answers aren’t right there in front of you. If you are resourceful person, you will be more successful in the school and in your chosen career. Can you think of some ways that you have been resourceful in solving a problem or getting something done? How will resourcefulness help you in your career?


Initiative is your ability to get going. It’s that drive that gets you started on your homework or mowing the grass, or cleaning your room. It’s also what helps you get others moving on things—like starting a group project at school or getting the team to start warming up before baseball practice. Among your friends, which ones show initiative? Do you who initiative in doing things you is responsible for?




Integrity is like a code of honor. If you have integrity, it means that you have certain values and beliefs that you live by. It also means you respect the values and beliefs of others. Integrity is a lot like honesty—it’s one of the building blocks of character. Who are some of the adults in you life who have a lot of integrity? Can you think of any celebrities who are rich and famous but seem to LACK integrity?
Synonym: righteousness, sincerity, straightforwardness, virtue
Antonym: corruption, disgrace, dishonesty, dishonor


Kindness is the ability to behave kindly, the practice of being or the tendency to be sympathetic and compassionate towards others. Kindness is an act that shows consideration and caring. Kindness is just a matter of being nice. Nice to people, nice to animals, nice to nature, nice to other peoples’ property…you know, just being NICE! It sounds so simple, but sometime people are so wrapped up in themselves and their own problems that they stop being kind to each other.
Do you make it a habit of being kind? What are some things that you can do to help spread kindness in your school?
Recommended Reading: Pay it Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde
It all started with the social studies teacher's extra-credit assignment: come up with a plan to change the world for the better, and do it! Twelve-year-old Trevor McKinney began by doing something good for three people. But instead of paying him back, he asked them to "pay it forward" by doing a favor for three more people, who in turn would help three others, an so on, each act a link in a chain of human kindness. And no one--not his teacher, his mom, or anyone in his small California town--could ever have dreamed of how far Trevor's plan would go...



Leadership means taking charge or setting an example for others. You don’t have to be the smartest student or the best athlete or the most popular kid in the school to be a leader. Anyone can be a leader—you just need good work habits and strong character. What are some of the character traits of being a good leader? How can YOU be a leader at school, or on your team, or in your outside activities?



Live Life

Live your Dreams


Loyalty is faithfulness. It means standing by someone even when times get tough. Loyalty is an important part of friendship. Just be sure that you don’t show “loyalty” to a friend by doing something that you KNOW is wrong. A true friend would never put you in that position. Has a friend ever questioned your loyalty? What re some of the consequences of doing something that you know is wrong?
Synonyms: devotion, earnestness, faith, honor
Antonyms: disloyalty, undependability, unfaithfulness

Making a Difference



Motivation is something that causes you to take action. It’s a feeling or event that gets you moving. People who are motivated have a better chance of reaching the goals they set for themselves.
What are some of the things that motivate you? What are some things that you just can’t seem to get motivated to start on?
Synonyms-- desire, push, drive, interest, catalyst
Antonyms—discouraged, depression, stuck
Recommended reading:
The Me nobody knew by Shannon McLinden. At 12, Shannon McLinded found her world collapsing. She hated her parents, her body, her friends--her life. She never felt pretty or popular enough; she struggled with drinking; she was sexually assualted and nearly starved herself. She wanted to die. Shannon survived her pain and slowly began uncovering peace in her life. with warmth and instight, she shares the tru story of her journey, offering a lifeline of support for girls everywhere.



Optimism means having a positive outlook on things. It means thinking that things are going to turn out well. People who are optimistic usually plan ahead and prepare for things they are about to do, and sometimes that helps things turn out well. Why is it good for you to be optimistic? What are some things you can do to help a friend who always seems “down” and lacks optimism?




Patience is the ability to wait for things without whining or complaining. It is a quality that many people do not have, and it can take a long time to develop. You might want something NOW, but sometimes you have to be patient and wait.
Who is the most patient person in your home? What are some ways in which you have been impatient lately?
Synonym: calmness, even temper
Antonym: agitation, frustration, impatience, intolerance





Politeness means speaking and acting in a civil way and using good manners. It’s a lot like courtesy and kindness. Another way to put it is being “not rude.” Being polite means you know how to act in social settings like a banquet or a big family gathering. What are some phrases you would use when you are speaking politely? If someone is polite to you, does that also mean they are being honest with you?
Synonyms: harm, civility, culture, kindness, refinement
Antonyms:impoliteness, rudeness
Recommended Reading:
The How Rude! Handbook of Family Manners for Teens by Alex J. Packer.
You can help to create the civilized home. A place where people talk instead of yell. Pick up after themselves. Respect each other. Fight fair. and don't hog the bathroom.




Reaching Out


Respect means showing regard for other people’s feelings or possessions. It is an attitude that you display every day. Showing respect for others is very important in the way you relate to people and a HUGE part of your character development.
What are some of the ways you can show respect for your teachers during class? What are some of the harmful things that can happen when people show disrespect to others?
Synonyms: appreciation, recognition, regard,, tribute
Antonyms: disdain, dishonor, disrespect


Responsibility is what you are showing when you own up to something. When you are responsible, you take control of your actions and your obligations. It might also mean taking the blame for something that is your fault rather than pointing the finger at some else. Do you accept responsibility for your actions? In what ways do you need to start becoming more responsible?
Synonym: dependability, faithfulness
Antonym: distrust, immaturity, irresponsibility

Right Choices

Rising Above




Sincerity means being real and genuine—not fake. It means speaking or acting “from the heart” and really meaning it. Sincerity is often the basis of very strong friendships, because you know that person is being real with you. What is the difference between politenesses? Have you ever been polite to someone and then realized that you were not sincere?




Citizenship is the way you conduct yourself within a community, such as the town you live in or the school you go to. Sportsmanship is the good attitude/behavior displayed by players of a game; fairness, determination, winning and losing gracefully.

Good citizens give back to that community by doing things that make it better, while poor citizens try to tear it down. What are some things you could do to show good citizenship in your school? What actions would be examples of poor citizenship in the town you live in?

Spread Your Wings



Teaching by Example


Team work means worming together to achieve a common goal. The goal could be having a winning football or soccer team, putting together the coolest project for science class, or having the band sound the best! Teamwork can lead to great things, but everyone has to do their share. Are you a “team player”? What can you do if someone is not working hard enough to help the team succeed?
Synonyms: assistance, collaboration, partnership
Antonym: noncooperation


Tolerance is your ability to accept values, practices, or beliefs that differ from your own. It also means accepting people who come from different places and have different backgrounds. You will need to be tolerant as you explore the world and meet new people. Do you tolerate different views, opinions, and beliefs? How do you handle being the “odd man out” when you feel like you’re different from everyone else?


Trustworthiness means you are worthy of someone’s trust. People know they can trust you and believe in you because of the kind of person you are. People who are trustworthy are often given a lot of responsibility because they can get the job done. Who is one of the most trustworthy people you know? What are some ways that you can show your parents that you are trustworthy?

True Beauty