On Addressing Character Defects: Thoughts on Tough Love

As teachers, we sometimes succumb to the desire to be liked, or to the fear of being disliked, by our students. This disposition can cost our students one of the greatest benefits an education can offer: being called out for a consistent character flaw. If we don’t call these things to our boys’ attention, their dominant flaws may go unchecked, only to hurt them more in the long run. Joe Cardenas, Head of Mentoring at The Heights, offers his thoughts on how to show tough love through difficult corrections.

Joe Cardenas

About the guest:

Joe Cardenas


Joe Cardenas is the Head of the Mentoring program at The Heights. Mr. Cardenas also teaches The Freshman Core and AP Art History. Since coming to The Heights in 1994, he has organized cultural trips to Spain and Italy and service projects in Mexico and Peru. Mr. Cardenas completed his undergraduate work at the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned a degree in American history; he received his M.A. in Private School Management from Columbia University. He taught at The Head-Royce School, an independent school in California, and at inner-city programs in Chicago and the Bronx before joining The Heights faculty.

Mentor’s Compass


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