If character education is a top-down initiative with administrators decreeing that teachers support it, it is programmed for failure. Teachers must sit on the character education committee; they must hear the message that character education actually aids instruction because it enables teachers to teach, free of distractions. Most schools that have been successful give just two words of advice to the newcomer: Start slowly. Schools must "look and listen" and assess where they are at before setting off in any one direction.
Among the varied strategies that have proven to be effective in getting teachers on board are: teachers serving as co-chairs of the character education committee; staff surveys to ascertain concerns; a motivational speaker to address the faculty; small representative groups who attend character education conferences and report to the whole group; sub-groups who do likewise with research on character education; strong professional development in character education; voluntary sub-groups who design lessons with curricular infusion of character; teachers serving as turnkeys for effective implementation; and faculty voting on crucial issues. If your school chooses to adopt a commercial program (please include teachers in the choice!), the organizations usually provide training. Provide release time for teachers strongly involved in the development and implementation of your character education program. Look at CEP's Program Review Checklist for help with selecting a program.