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The Curriculum of Integrity

Spelling was a challenge for me in elementary school. I was so

anxious for my weekly quizzes that I would often write the words on my desk, or on a piece of paper, or on my hand ahead of time. Yes, I’m confessing, “I cheated.” Then, mid-year, as if someone had hit a switch in my brain, I woke up understanding that my integrity is the greater good – I stopped cheating. I realized poor grades were a better option than poor integrity. There is a parallel curriculum to all we teach. As we demonstrate integrity, as we teach good principles, as we motivate and encourage and even discipline students, we are teaching. I’m not sure why that light went off in my head, but I suspected I was surrounded by good examples. I respected my teacher and somewhere, something that someone did or said, stuck with me. The bigger tests are not the exams and quizzes, but what we do when no one is looking, or what we do when things are tough.

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