In our last segment, we discussed “honesty” as a value a teacher must have. “She’s a good teacher and she has that special way of teaching!”
The first element of “honesty” is truthfulness. Here is where a fact can become a lie. When you are being wrong, it is not the same as being a liar. There is a difference between truthfulness and truth. Webster’s Dictionary states that truthfulness is “being consistent in telling the truth” and truth is being “a statement proven to be or accepted as true.” Remember, honest mistakes can still make a mark on trust!
A second element of “honesty” is being sincere. When you are sincere, you do not say half-truths or just stay silent. You want to leave an impression that is true and not misleading. Webster’s Dictionary states it is “being genuine!” You want to create a true belief.
A third element is frankness involves trust and honesty. Sometimes, people need other information to know about you. “Be calm and frank, and confess at once all that weighs on your heart” (Emily Brontë). With your honesty and truthfulness, you will feel that you need to share this information.
So when you conduct yourself in honesty, you do not want to violate trust and fairness by taking advantage of others through trickery or cheating. We do not need to be unethical or dishonest by lying. Occasionally, dishonesty may be ethically justifiable, such as when the police lie in undercover operations.
Question: Did you make your best decision with the Gary scenario of Part 2?
Well, what about the Hunt family that has approached your school with a family problem that is disturbing them all. The father has a great deal of trouble disciplining his 2 children and he has come close to physical abuse on several occasions; however, the whole family insists that he has never crossed the line. Nonetheless, they are afraid of what may happen if they do not get help. The family is highly motivated and is reaching out before a serious problem arises. They have no insurance and there is no cause for dependency in this case.
Due to turnover in your school, your school is overburdened with the extra load of children and there is really no one there who can work with the family. You as a teacher have gone to your director to discuss this crucial situation because you don’t know what to tell the Hunt family. Question: What is the right decision for this situation?
In part 4, we will continue with “integrity.” We are trying to reach out to make the right decisions like as the last two examples about Gary and the Hunt family.