"To be sure, none of us is perfect. And that needs to be seen for exactly what it is: a fact ... a condition, not an excuse. Compensating for our imperfections and overcoming the temptations we face require commitment and self-discipline. Behaving ethically — being people of integrity — isn't always easy, but it is always right!"
— Eric Harvey and Steve Ventura, “Walk The Walk”
It seems logical to me that we all have this inward compulsion to beat ourselves up about things that we struggle with or find difficult. Throughout the past 15 years in public education, the various models of management have focused on input from outside groups to help manage strategy and share in decision-making.
As a professional, this doesn’t bother me as long as the critique is geared toward facilitating restoration. In our “throwaway” culture, it is too easy to get rid of people in much the same manner.
Severing ties professionally when something of a moral nature is in question is absolutely imperative, but it is usually a style issue or a faulty perception that leads down the road to harsh judgments and uneasy communication. It’s easy to know who disagrees with you because they usually have a much better plan but don’t communicate because they don’t want to talk with someone with whom they disagree.
We live in a frenzied culture during a difficult time when the public is more informed about the issues we face in our schools. Demands on our children’s time have increased, as have the costs for participation in activities. Hence, the stakes are generally higher, the expectations more unrealistic — but the outcomes have suffered.
Good people doing strenuous work, dedicated to the long haul and committed to the tough work genuinely should be appreciated. While we are not perfect, we are striving to improve and should be treated ethically, with integrity and with the goal of restoring the trust and hope that makes our work so important.
It’s not easy — but it’s always right.
At least that’s what I think.