Saturday, March 29, 2014

Daily Lessons...Integrity

This beautiful piece of carrot cake was part of a recent facebook post written by a friend of mine.  She had gone to a country ma and pa restaurant and ordered this delicious cake for dessert.  The owner told her that it was his mamma's recipe.

Well, based on the replies by other fb friends (one who worked at said restaurant for several years), this cake came on a frozen delivery truck.


As amazing as that cake looks, having a waiter share a false personal story, makes me want to send the cake back to the truck from which it came!  :)

Seriously, WHY tell such a personal, moving story like that IF IT IS NOT TRUE?!!!

It is interesting how quickly integrity (or lack thereof) can cause one to make a judgement.

This is an especially important lesson for our middle school students.  They are in a developmental BOOM where often their bodies are mature before their brains are.  They are learning to take on more and more responsibility as we hold them more accountable as they get older.

I notice that this age group is quick to deny responsibility for wrong choices or mistakes.  "What?  Why are you looking at me?  I didn't do anything!" are common responses I hear.  Yes...this is part of growing up, but at a time when they LOOK older than they are, integrity holds even more weight.  Adults often judge students by how they SHOULD act, not how they DO act.  Like the carrot cake example above, once a judgement is made, it is very hard to reverse the damage.

So, how do we, as school counselors, educate our students on the importance of integrity?

Here is where I am so thankful for the our k-12 comprehensive guidance and counseling program!  I am grateful for the school counselors, parents, teachers, and other staff members who have been teaching integrity all along.  Students should already have a firm foundation, right?

So, how do you incorporate the lesson of integrity in the middle school?  Advisory lessons?  Teachable moments?  Classroom lessons?  Small groups?  All of the above?

Here is where I see the value in a SYSTEM.  When I walk by a classroom and hear a teacher using current events to reinforce integrity or I listen to my daughter tell how astounded she was that a girl just copied a paragraph directly out of a book and turned it in as her own work, I have faith in our system.

At my school, we have two school counselors, but we are definitely not enough to conquer all these important lessons alone!  We rely on teachers, administrators, custodians, cooks, and even students to help us reinforce the lessons that hopefully started at home.  And...if they didn't start at home...we have system support to teach them along the way.

Thoughts?  I would LOVE to hear from you!!!  :)  Leave a comment or write on my Facebook Page:  MS Counseling (  I cannot wait to hear from you!!!!  :)