Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Honesty is the best policy

People make mistakes, often. I work in a school and I encounter mistakes every day, be they minor grammatical, spelling or punctuation. At school we also encounter some of the bigger mistakes;
Kid: “I didn’t punch him, my arm just slipped”
Teacher: “OK and your friend Billy told me that you said this morning you were going to punch him today, whatever happened”
Kid: “I didn’t copy my homework”
Teacher: “Even though you’ve made exactly the same mistakes as your friend? So either you copied or she did?”
Kid: “I didn’t paste my whole essay from the internet”
Teacher: “Even though I just found the entire first paragraph on this website when I googled the first sentence?”
Kid: “Miss, have you marked the homework yet?”
Teacher: “Yes, but I’ve left it at home.”
Kid “You said that last time miss....
We forgive young people mistakes every day because we hope and pray that they will learn a lesson. Teachers lie to kids but I find it more difficult to lie to a class of twenty five 14 year olds who know the value of a good lie and also know me well enough to read my face. Over time, I’ve learned that honesty is often the best policy with kids, even if you don’t like admitting that you haven’t marked their homework...
Honesty is best because we have to set an example for the kids...I would much rather say: “I can’t discuss that with you” or “It would be inappropriate for me to gossip about that with you.” to a student rather than get in some flummox about a juicy piece of gossip that they know. Children may be smaller than us (and increasingly, they are bigger than me) but they are not stupid. They will know, within a few weeks of you teaching them, if you lie, if you’re strict, if you are happy, if you mark the homework, if you expect homework on time. Within a term they will know if you get on with other teachers, if you have a family and how you respond when asked a difficult question!!
I’m a terrible liar most of the time, if asked a direct question I find it very difficult to lie...I go a bit red and probably have a million ‘tells’ to show that I’m lying. I can’t tell a joke well either because I always laugh before the punch line. I would be a crap poker player. I don’t mind, I’m never going to win at poker, that’s my life. I’m destined to tell the truth or look stupid trying to lie and I can’t tell a joke well unless I try really hard...I still enjoy a joke though and honesty is not a bad thing!
The lesson that we hope the kids will learn is that life is hard and the truth can sometimes be a very difficult and bitter pill to swallow. Also, if you’re a bad liar then you will be found out. If anyone saw what you did, you’ll be found out, if anyone heard what you said, it won’t be a secret for long. If anyone can gain from your secrets, they will. Life is tough and the human instinct is to share, pleasure and pain and joy and sorrow, we want to tell the world.
Footballers and their follies.
So, the flaws and vanities of Ryan Giggs and other footballers are in the public forum, affairs, hair transplants...Who cares? The great British public cares because we all love a good old gossip. Rooney had the good grace to go public about his hair (not really a surprise, some sportsmen have made lucrative deals to promote the hair restoration process).What strikes me is why Ryan Giggs even tried to keep his ‘relationship’ a secret? No-one really knows if he had an affair or not, but now millions of people are speculating that he is no longer such a squeaky clean family man. Did he do it? I don’t care but I do wonder if he ever learned any lessons at school...he certainly never learned that the truth will out...and that truth can be a bitter pill. Why couldn’t he just be honest with his beautiful wife and lovely children and confess that he had sexual feelings for another...was it too much for his pride to admit to being too weak to keep his wedding vows? Did he fear losing his wife or his contracts? Was he even unfaithful at all? We’ll never know, but perhaps he has learned the lesson about truth now.

1 comment:

  1. Hmm, some thinking stuff here Sian... I sometimes wonder that the more money and perceived power an individual has, then the less emphasis they place on honesty and truth? Almost as if they are above decent behaviour. x


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.