Members of the Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School community strive to live a life of virtue. A virtue is acquired through “good habit.” We all have habits – ways we behave over and over again. The key to living a happy life is understanding which habits are worth developing. Benjamin Franklin, the school’s namesake, chose his own set of nine similar virtues and focused on one each week, recording his accomplishments in a “little book”.
Benjamin Franklin recognized that character development is a life-long process that must be consciously worked on daily, which is why character education is imbedded into our daily curriculum and taught explicitly.
Below are four classical virtues, definitions and related character traits, that can help us in our efforts to improve ourselves.
Classical Virtues & Calendar:
Justice means treating others with respect and taking responsibility for their well-being; fairness. Five related character traits are; respect, friendship, kindness and compassion, generosity (giving without expecting anything in return) and fairness.
Temperance is about mastering ourselves (and our impulses!) for the sake of the happiness of those around us. It is about acting the right way at the right time. Five related character traits are; order or staying organized, courtesy and good manners, self-control, patience and obedience.
Fortitude means having the courage to face challenges and obstacles; persevering when things get tough. Five related character traits are; courage, optimism, perseverance, good citizenship and loyalty.
Prudence is about having sound judgment and making wise choices. It is about being thoughtful. Five related character traits are; honesty, wisdom, integrity (being true to yourself), gratitude and humility (caring less about who’s right and more about what’s right).
September is Justice month with a focus on friendship and respect for adults and peers.
October is Temperance month with a focus on order (staying organized/putting things away), courtesy and good manners.
November is Prudence month with a focus on gratitude an honesty.
December is Justice month with a focus on respect for the dignity and responsibility for the need of others and compassion and kindness.
January is Fortitude month with a focus on hope, optimism, courage and goal-setting.
February is Temperance month with a focus on patience and obedience.
March is Prudence month with a focus on integrity (being true to your best self) and humility (caring less about who’s right and more about what’s right).
April is Justice month with a focus on generosity (giving without expecting anything in return) and loyalty.
May is Fortitude month with a focus on citizenship, sacrifice and perseverance.
June is a “choose your focus” month. Ideas can include heroes from history, local heroes, friendship revisited among others.