To The Teachers
"The goal of a virtuous person is to become like God" St. Gregory of Nyssa
I decided to develop the Virtue Reward program to help cultivate and strengthen good virtuous habits in children. This came about as a result of seeing my children in their school being rewarded with candy, cookies and other unhealthy things.
At first, I didn’t notice, but when it became something that I saw being done on a regular basis it caught my attention. This got me thinking. Was this leading my children closer to God? It wasn’t necessarily leading them away from Him, but I just didn’t see how it could be leading them closer to Him. Was this forming a good or bad habit in my children? Did I want them being given the impression that they should reward themselves with unhealthy food? Was this system caring for my children and nourishing their bodies as part of Gods creation? Or was this system promoting an unhealthy body?
While pondering these thoughts I decided I must come up with something better, something that will nourish these children while at the same time giving them a concrete reward to help keep their interest. That was in the year 2000 and here I am years later, finally, with my idea in the concrete form.
This system has many benefits. One benefit I have found from using it in my own home is that as a result of these virtues being praised at home the parents learn to fine tune their own habits. As a parent, I know it is all too easy to fall into the habit of only speaking up to our children when they are doing something wrong. In using these virtue reward cards we begin to get into the habit of giving attention to our children for doing good. Even if it is the littlest thing.
This can be the same in the classroom setting. These cards can be the momentum to help you get over the hump with that one student who seems to always be getting in trouble.
In using this reward program you will find that, as a teacher, you will change your own habits. You, too, will become more virtuous. This reward program takes the commitment of the teachers for it to work to its fullest extent. Some of the virtues are only noticed on the minute level. This means the teachers must really be paying attention to their students in the smallest acts. We want to encourage the children to continue to do virtuous acts no matter how small. The encouragement of these acts, when young, will help the child to form life long habits, helping them to be more holy adults. We all know habits can be hard to break. When the habit is virtuous this is a good thing.
The younger one learns to recognize virtues in themselves and those around them, they will effortlessly practice these virtues as adults. It is my hope that in implementing this reward program in your class your students and you will be lead closer to the holiness God calls each one of us to be.
Inventor of the Virtue Reward Program