For over 175 years, The Boys' Latin School of Maryland has been instilling the core values of courage, integrity, and compassion in each boy as embodied in our motto, Esse Quam Videri (to be, rather than to seem). Headmaster Post recently published an article in Lutherville-Timonium Living on the importance of character education. Please see below; it's worth a read!
The Importance of Character Education
By Headmaster, Chris Post
I have been fortunate to work in boys' schools for almost twenty-five years, serving as Headmaster of The Boys' Latin School of Maryland since 2008. Today, more than ever, character education is central to our work, shaping and forming young men. In a world where integrity is constantly questioned, we intentionally keep our core values—courage, compassion and integrity—at the forefront of all we do. Our boys embody these values in the classroom and live out these values in the greater community where they are challenged to think beyond themselves and make a difference.
Developing these skills takes practice. That's why character education is woven into our curriculum, beginning with our youngest learners. In the lower school, our boys are taught to identify and practice values each day, such as caring, respect, and citizenship. Lower school boys participate in our "Little Buddies" program, where kindergarten and pre-first students are paired with a fifth grade student. These older students spend time each week with their buddies, acting as role models and building strong relationships.
The middle school years can be a particularly challenging time for boys, as students experience the greatest amount of change in the shortest period of time. We have found, however, that this provides incredible opportunities for growth. During dedicated middle school advisory time, teachers work closely with students to tackle difficult subjects in a caring manner, engaging in lessons focused on social and emotional learning. These workshops focus on several topics, including, but not limited to, mindsets and goals, values and relationships, coping skills and friendship and peer conflict.
As well, our upper school faculty creates meaningful experiences for boys at all levels. Through freshman advisory sessions and the sophomore seminar program, boys explore topics such as leadership skills, wellness and building community in a free-flowing exchange of ideas. Juniors and Seniors participate in reflective retreats designed to deepen connections and build empathy. Just recently, several seniors initiated the Senior Council, a group whose purpose is to support underclassmen in navigating life through high school.
Reflecting our commitment to fostering healthy relationships, Boys' Latin was the first school in the nation to partner with the One Love Foundation. Fostering healthy relationships empowers boys and young men to make a difference in the lives of others. The One Love Club is active throughout the year, with their efforts culminating in the annual school-wide One Laker │One Love Day. The One Love Foundation holds up our program as a national model for student engagement and leadership.
Our commitment to values shapes our community. It's felt in the way our boys care for, challenge and support one another. At Boys' Latin, we will continue to focus on character education, because we know, it is critical to preparing boys for the real-world. And, I believe, the education of boys – and the formation of young men – has never been more important than it is today.