Sunday, August 21, 2016

"Honesty is the best policy." Benjamin Franklin

Last week, I wrote about the inspiring Olympians, those hearty souls whose work ethics and dreams and desires are so great that they elevate the rest of us mere mortals!  However, a blemish appeared last week during the Summer Olympic Games which also offers two important lessons- about taking responsibility for one's own actions, and being honest. 

By now, everyone  has heard that Ryan Lochte and three other male members of the USA swim team said that they were pulled over and robbed at gunpoint after hours in Rio de Janeiro. Those claims proved to be untrue, as their stories kept changing, Brazilian police investigated, and surveillance video was reviewed. In fact, the story was fabricated to cover up some indiscretions regarding an incident at a gas station, which involved vandalism and destruction of personal property as a result of being intoxicated. Of course, the actions of these four gave one HUGE black eye to the USA during these 2016 Summer Olympic Games, and the daily investigations into this news story and its aftermath continue to take the spotlight away from the accomplishments of the other USA Olympians. 

This story comes down to just two things:these young men did not take responsibility for one's actions, and they were not honest.  Their decisions were a great disappointment to many people, as more is expected of those who are representing our country in prestigious events, such as the Olympics.  I do not know their reasoning, I just know they made a big mistake, which has caused embarrassment to our entire country.

In all aspects of life, telling the truth, painful as it may be, is the best policy.  Fabricating leads to telling more and more lies, which eventually entangles the person telling the tales. And taking responsibility for oneself is expected from those who are mature enough to know they made a mistake. I cannot even speculate as to the impact this incident will have on the future of each swimmer, and how many endorsements could be lost. One of the most important personal possessions we each own is our reputation, which follows us throughout our lives. Ryan Lochte has recently accepted responsibility for has actions, but I think his personal brand has been permanently tarnished. (To see Ryan's interview with Matt Lauer, click on this link.  )

Teachers are so familiar with these lessons, which are staples in our professional repertoire. As teachers, we try to help our students to grow and mature enough to take responsibility for their actions through the years, and teaching the importance of honesty is an ongoing lesson from Kindergarten through college. Perhaps some of the teacher readers of this blog will discuss this Olympic-sized debacle and use it as a teachable moment/classroom lesson for their students. 

Benjamin Franklin said it best: "Honesty is the best policy."  

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. 

Rittman Publishing, LLC ®

Visit Dede's webpage for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER.  Many colleges have made the book required reading. 
Signed copies are available Dede is also a national speaker on The Three C's for Classroom success: Confidence, communication, and Creativity; Avoiding Teacher burnout; and many other inspirational topics. 

I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books.  Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self.  However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37 years. I remain inspired! 

Elementary teachers in Western Pennsylvania and beyond - I am willing to come into your classroom in person or as a virtual field trip through a group called Field Trip Zoom.  Check them out! 

Teacher friends- let me know if you want me to read GRADY GETS GLASSES at your school. I am willing to come in to discuss the creative writing process, why writing is important, and personal fulfillment through writing, along with reading my book.  I would appreciate the exposure, and I would make signed copies available for purchase in your classrooms following the reading.  Please email me at .  The website IS UP AND RUNNING!!!.  Signed copies ARE available!   Grady plush toys are ordered! 

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