Week 5 - IntegrityBy Jeff Bryan
Integrity is what allows us, wherever we find ourselves in life, to stand behind our words and actions. Integrity is what allows us to look in the mirror and be comfortable with the person looking back at us.
For an in-depth overview of each weekly slide presentation, please skip below to your specific grade level.
To see the 1-page Integrity Character Card and share it with your students’ families, click here.
For the P2 Reflection Journals, used by all elementary students at the end of the week, click here.
Starting Monday, Partner Schools nationwide will begin learning about integrity. This is doing the right thing when nobody is watching. People with integrity practice what they preach and maintain a consistent pattern of behavior aligned with their values. They have the courage not to follow the crowd if it means going against their beliefs. Integrity is closely aligned with the terms of honesty and authenticity. People with integrity tell the truth and have alignment in their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
A person who lacks integrity could be described as pretentious, hypocritical, or insincere. They are pretending to be something that they’re not or they’re saying one thing and then doing another. It is important to be able to change your mind (and be open-minded), as you learn and grow. However, the main distinction comes in the intention. Is the person intending to manipulate another? A second important facet is self-awareness. It’s tough to be true to
yourself, if you don’t know who you are.
This week’s character strength example is Bill Russell. He is one of seven basketball players to ever win an NCAA Championship, an NBA Championship, and an Olympic gold medal. Russell’s Boston Celtics won nine NBA Championships while he was a player and two while a player-coach, for a total of 11 NBA Championships.
But these basketball statistics don’t define Bill Russell. He was also a civil rights activist and the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In fact, during his playing days, Russell responded to a man who asked if he was a basketball player by saying, “No, I am not. Because that’s not who I am. Basketball is what I do; it’s not who I am.”
As the below video highlights, Russell has a deep sense of who he is and remained true to himself — and what he knew to be right — regardless of what others thought.
So, why is integrity important? Because it is vital to individual growth. It is correlated with a multitude of psychological well-being measures. Harmony in your feelings, thoughts, and actions makes you better able to personally grow and achieve goals. Authenticity, and a lack of pretense, also makes you more likable and trusted by others, meaning your relationships will benefit.
On a group level, integrity is a cornerstone of high-functioning and sustainable teams, organizations, and societies. If you’re constantly wondering about your coworkers’ intentions, you will have a hard time working with them. This is why we look for politicians and leaders with integrity. We need to believe that they’ll keep their word – or at the very least, readily admit it when they must break a promise. If they don’t, trust and performance fail.
And, as a reminder, you can find all of our weekly slide presentations on our website’s Resources page here. This page is the place that we recommend you go to access all of the resources — not via Google Drive folders.
To find your grade level’s presentation, you can simply type the word “integrity” into the Resource Title search bar or sort by Character Strength and select Teamwork. Each of those options will provide you with 10 slide presentations and one 1-page character card. For a simple overview of the Resources page, with pictures and videos, click here.