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Annie Fox, M.Ed., is an internationally respected parenting expert, award-winning author, and a trusted online adviser for tweens and teens.

There’s more to being a good student than getting good grades

October 7, 2012

We educators often talk about our standards for what it means to be a “good” student. Parents too, want their kids to be “good.” I’m fascinated by the gap between being “good” and having the social courage to do good, especially when doing the right thing puts one at risk for peer disapproval.

Educators and parents often give lip service to the importance of students’ doing the right thing (in academic as well as in social situations). But when it comes to teaching kids to be good people who actively seek opportunities to help others and speak out against injustice, how much actual teaching is being done? If we don’t prioritize the kind of character education our young people so desperately need, we’re failing them. We can do better. It’s a new school year. Let’s get on it.

Filed under: Parenting — Annie @ 12:19 pm


  1. Maybe we need to begin by defining ‘good’ – do we mean ‘do as you are told?’ or ‘think for yourself, how you feel and how those around you feel, and make up your own mind.’?

    Comment by Jo Carroll — October 11, 2012 @ 10:09 am

  2. Yes, Jo Carroll, we absolutely must define “good”! Because not everyone defines goodness in the same way. That’s why I spent the past year researching as I wrote my new book “Teaching Kids to Be Good People.” Surprisingly, when I posted the question “How do you define a good person?” there was quite a lot of commonality in the responses I got. You can download the Table of Contents, the Introduction, and Chapter 1 for free.

    Comment by Annie — October 11, 2012 @ 10:16 am

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