• Erin Jones
  • ·
  • August 14, 2019

CharacterStrong & Equity

CharacterStrong believes in providing the best foundational supports so that educators everywhere can build strong and lasting relationships while teaching social-emotional learning and character development...

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  • John Norlin
  • ·
  • August 6, 2019

A Different Question to Start the School Year

As another school year nears, educators are preparing to welcome their students back from summer break with the excitement and anticipation of the wonderful possibilities that lie ahead. While students are...

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  • Eric Davis
  • ·
  • July 23, 2019

5 Ways to Ignite Your Athletic Program

Most athletic competitions end with a winner and a loser.  So, how is success measured in school-based athletics?  Is it the final result of a competition?  How did each team or athlete grow...

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  • Houston Kraft
  • ·
  • July 2, 2019

What is Missing?

At CharacterStrong, we have weekly meetings with our team where we turn off all distractions and...

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  • David Volke
  • ·
  • June 11, 2019

Students Feel Invisible

When I was a kid, I would often imagine what it would be like to be invisible. I envisioned having...

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  • Houston Kraft
  • ·
  • June 4, 2019

If Every Day Were Shoesday

Picture this: You've just enjoyed an invigorating, productive morning on an out-of-state trip to plant CharacterStrong seeds of inspiration, but when it comes time for you to leave, you're told that there’s...

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  • Houston Kraft
  • ·
  • May 21, 2019

The Danger of Ego

In 7th grade, I got my first ASB position. I was the treasurer at my middle school and to be completely honest with you, I thought I was pretty dang cool because of it. My mindset quickly flipped from wanting...

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  • John Norlin
  • ·
  • April 23, 2019

A School Where Everyone Belongs

Passengers In the 2016 motion picture “Passengers,” Jim Preston (played by Chris Pratt) is one of 5000 passengers onboard a spacecraft for a 120 year voyage to begin a new life for the human race on...

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  • Character Strong
  • ·
  • March 5, 2019

What Does It Take To Be Prepared For The Future

  What does it take to be prepared for the future? In the 20th Century world there were mostly predictable patterns of going to college or learning a trade and then getting a job and working in...

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  • Bryan Slater
  • ·
  • February 12, 2019

Maslow's Hammer Time

“If the only tool you have is a hammer, all problems begin to resemble nails.” -Abraham Maslow I...

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  • Character Strong
  • ·
  • January 28, 2019

Discovering the Joy Beyond Happiness

Written By: Kay Dodge Brent Grothe       Bookstores are full of books on how to be happier, and if you don’t like reading, you can find hundreds of podcasts on the subject....

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  • Lindsay Norlin
  • ·
  • December 29, 2018

3 Things Your Students Need Coming Back from Break

Coming back to the classroom after two weeks off is often times not only difficult for students, but teachers as well. It's important that we all take a day to ease back into the swing of things and also gauge...

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  • Character Strong
  • ·
  • December 11, 2018

A Better Way

Written by: Kay Dodge and Brent Grothe Humility is a tough lesson. As humans, we think we know...

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  • John Gaines
  • ·
  • December 4, 2018

Push Past Obstacles

  I remember it like it was yesterday; I was in the process of planning my wedding,...

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  • Sally Rusk
  • ·
  • November 27, 2018

Dear New Advisor

Mrs. Markov stepped on the conductor box and her students immediately lifted their instruments with precision.  They played beautifully and looked at her with adoration and a hope approval. The next day...

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  • Lauren Ambeau
  • ·
  • November 4, 2018

It Starts with Me...

“It’s all about relationships!” I heard myself saying to more than a few teachers last week....

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  • John Norlin
  • ·
  • August 28, 2018

Make Patience Normal

At CharacterStrong we focus on teaching what we call the 8 Essentials. These are eight different...

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  • John Norlin
  • ·
  • August 7, 2018

Creating Ubuntu

In the summer of 2017, I had the privilege to travel with a group of educators to study the culture,...

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  • John Norlin
  • ·
  • July 17, 2018

3 Ways to Practice Living Intentionally

I believe that we all want to be a part of something purposeful and leave an impact on this world. Some call it making a difference, others call it leaving a legacy, and some call it living a purposeful life....

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  • John Norlin
  • ·
  • July 3, 2018

Freedom to Choose

As July approaches each year, the thought of freedom comes to the forefront of my mind. Yes, one...

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  • John Norlin
  • ·
  • June 5, 2018

5 Things Every Educator Should Do This Summer

Another school year has passed and educators once again are looking forward to the days of being able to sleep past six in the morning, go to the bathroom whenever they want, and actually eat lunch instead...

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  • Bryan Slater
  • ·
  • April 2, 2018

The Classroom Temperature Check

Second period on October 31st, 2017 was just like any other ordinary second period on All Hallows Eve in my classroom full of 12th graders; a few students were in their Halloween costumes and others had the...

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  • John Norlin
  • ·
  • March 6, 2018

3 Things We Should All Agree on After Parkland

Once again our country was horrified to see a mass school shooting in a place where all families should feel safe to send their kids...school. As the aftermath unfolds it feels different. It feels like there...

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  • John Norlin
  • ·
  • February 7, 2018

Building Influence Through Athletics

James C. Hunter said, “Leadership is influence.”  With that, the ultimate question is how can a person in a position to influence, such as the athletic director, impact the athletes, programs, school...

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  • Houston Kraft
  • ·
  • January 23, 2018

Quantifiable Feedback

One of the hallmark skills of great educators is the ability to give and receive feedback. At CharacterStrong,...

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  • John Norlin
  • ·
  • January 9, 2018

The Power of Introverts

I was terrified.  For some reason I had said yes to something I had, as an adult, avoided for...

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  • John Norlin
  • ·
  • January 3, 2018

Scarcely Happy

“There’s just not enough to go around,” is a common statement from people afflicted with a scarcity mentality. Financially, such people hoard personal items, pinch pennies, compare themselves to others...

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  • Houston Kraft
  • ·
  • December 12, 2017

Ask Better Questions

In a time when we are connected digitally, we are also more isolated than ever. We must continue...

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  • Bryan Slater
  • ·
  • December 5, 2017

The Earned Privilege of Teaching

We’re seeing some pretty dramatic transformations taking place in the 21st century classroom. Many districts are employing 1:1 initiatives where every student, instead of receiving 6+ textbooks to lug around...

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  • Bryan Slater
  • ·
  • November 14, 2017

The Duty of First...

Everyone knows you must give respect in order to get respect. This raises a very important, and...

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  • John Norlin
  • ·
  • November 5, 2017

Honoring Those Who Sacrifice for Us

In our classrooms, every lesson is important. The same is true with school events and activities. They are all important - otherwise we wouldn’t be doing them. Holding the door open on Friday mornings so...

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  • John Norlin
  • ·
  • September 13, 2017

Character Day 2017

Today is a day we are excited to celebrate as people all over the globe will be participating in...

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  • Houston Kraft
  • ·
  • May 7, 2017

The Journal

At Arapahoe High School in Colorado, they refuse to be defined by a tragedy. In 2013, a school shooting...

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  • Houston Kraft
  • ·
  • May 1, 2017

Becoming The Leader [Video w/ Debrief]

Tony Robbins explains what it takes to become a leader. Within this clip, he addresses the distinction between the motive to serve people and serving ourselves. Motive does matter. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=C6C647EmV_o Debrief...

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  • Houston Kraft
  • ·
  • May 1, 2017

The Apology

It’s pretty common, especially in a larger school, that there will be someone in the audience...

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