Free character education lesson plans are the subject of much wishing by educators. It reminds me of the idiom: “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” First recorded about 1628 in a collection of Scottish proverbs, that idiom suggests that if we could have what we want simply by wishing, our lives would be easy. It suggests, too, that wishing is useless; we are apt to get much better results with action. Free character education lesson plans may not appear magically beneath our saddles.Free character education lesson plans do exist, and they do promise to make life easier for educators. Internet connectivity makes it possible for anyone to post hundreds of them in a few days. You must realize, though, that the free character education lesson plans you find may not be worth the cybernetic paper on which they are printed. You will probably get much better results by finding a quality program and investing necessary funds to purchase it.You may believe a tight budget makes that impossible Your administrator may have insisted that you use only complimentary materials. You may be shut up to an Internet search for “freebies.”If that is the case, you will want to search carefully. It will be essential to find qualified authors and qualified content.Qualified AuthorsFree character education lesson plans are of most value if authored by a qualified person. Teachers and administrators must consider the source. They must look, as it were, at the author’s credentials.· Is the author a trained educator?· How many years of educational experience does the author have?· What success in the subject area can the author claim?· Is the author a trained writer?· How many years of writing experience does the author have?· What success has the author experienced in writing?All too often, such examination reveals that free character education lesson plans were authored by unqualified individuals.Let me give you an example of a guidance counselor offering free character education lesson plans. I’ll call her Meg. Assigned to teach classes in moral values, Meg panics. She is not trained to teach any classroom subject, let alone moral values. She has been a guidance counselor for only two years, and that has been taxing enough. Her own children’s poor behavior shows that her success in moral training is inadequate, at best. Nevertheless, she must teach what was assigned, and she has no budget for it.Meg tackles responsibility as her first trait. She cobbles together a few of her own ideas on responsibility with a variety from Internet sources. Her presentation does not define responsibility accurately, but Meg decides it comes close enough. Meg makes no provision to assess current level of understanding regarding responsibility. She simply gives an oral presentation followed by discussion: students pooling their ignorance. Meg’s approach lacks memorable presentation, but Meg fails to recognize the need for such. She closes by tacking up a poster, and returns to her office – defeated.Over the next months, Meg grinds her way through that strategy with traits such as respect, honesty, fairness, kindness, and trustworthiness. She feels more comfortable with her formula as time goes by and then – one bright morning – an idea hits her:Free character education lesson plans!She wishes there were such, so other guidance counselors must wish the same. She could post her presentations on the Internet as free character education lesson plans. They will not earn money for her, of course, but the gratification of knowing that someone might use them is enough reward for Meg.She tries to make her notes coherent enough for others’ use. She has never liked writing, and never before wrote for publication, but it is not important, she decides, that the material be well written. The important thing is that others use it. She finds a website that accepts without question, and submits her free character education lesson plans.Many free character education lesson plans are offered by unqualified authors like Meg.Qualified ContentFree character education lesson plans must have qualified content as well as qualified authors. Look for these seven qualities.1. Clear, age-appropriate language2. Understandable, accurate definitions3. Assessment tools4. Stories for auditory learners5. Images or tangible objects for visual learners6. Physical involvement for kinesthetic learners7. Evaluation toolsFree character education lesson plans need not have every one of those qualities, but the majority of them should be present.ConclusionFree character education lesson plans may be among your biggest wishes, but remember: if wishes were horses, beggars would ride. You will probably get better results by silencing your wishes and taking action to order professionally written, quality material from qualified authors.