Character is an attribute that has to be taught to students, and they must learn it. So teach the process of character to your students. Teach application, not just implication. Teach the meaning of these words that instill, and demonstrate good character: Wisdom, gracious, patience, self-discipline, gentleness, trustworthiness, purity, others-centered, diligence, punctuality, generosity, honesty, perseverance, compassion, courageous, and hard working. Notice those words can also describe some character traits of God. Maybe that is why Paul said in Romans 8:29 we are to endeavor to become like Jesus! Along with those great words of good character go two other attributes that must be taught and learned: Confidence, and Value.
Confidence comes from having a firm faith or belief in what is right, proper, and effective. Make sure you teach that belief to them, and of course, that belief comes through Jesus and the Bible. Confidence comes from being told “well done”. Reinforce the confidence of students by making sure they are acknowledged or rewarded for a job well done, and are built back up after correction or discipline.
Value is another trait that you must teach your students. God loves them no matter what. There is nothing they can do that will diminish God’s love of them, and there is nothing they can do that will cause God to love them more. (He may be disappointed, or on the other hand be pleased, but His love never waivers). Teachers should also have that same attitude toward their students. Teaching a student that they are valuable is a must. Every person wants to have value, and Christian schooling should ensure that each and every student has value, especially during the teen years when they are struggling to understand their value, and look for it in various places: so be one of the places that they feel secure and valuable.
In developing a policy on discipline for your school, a sound Christian school also incorporates a policy on character building that includes the processes of handling a stimulating situation, confidence, and value. Teaching the student to make godly choices on their own is the goal. The story of Joseph in Genesis can be a great example to use as a basis of your policy. There is also a wealth of information on-line about teaching character. Your school may use such tools as encouraging or requiring volunteerism or community service from students, offer a “Christian Character Award” in sports and the classroom, or spotlight specific examples of Christian character stories of students in a school publication or bulletin board. I encourage you to research those and purposefully administer a character building policy for your Christian school.
Rules of conduct, why those rules exist, explanation and understanding when rules are broken, humble repentance of specific wrongdoing, properly explaining why and administering discipline, reconciliation with love, accountability to ensure non-repeating the wrongdoing, praise when correction and proper attitude is recognized, and the resultant character building is a biblical process that is part of a sound Christian school.
“And it is good for people to submit at an early age to the yoke of his discipline.” Lamentations 3:27 NLT