I was pondering the idea of integrity where leadership is concerned. I suppose that at this point in my career, administrators shouldn't hold any surprises for me---and yet I still get an eye-opener now and then.
What I'm coming to realize is that integrity is a matter of perspective. The administrators I respect the most approach integrity as being true to their personal vision and convictions. Whether or not I might agree with those views is a different matter, but I respect that their actions match their words. And at the other end of the spectrum are those who are true to the job. That is to say that they are there to push the papers, play the political game, and pick-up a paycheck at the end of the month. They may talk the talk of school improvement or a focus on kids, but it is not their first love. Somewhere along the way, they've lost enthusiasm and intellectual curiosity. Whatever reasons originally drew them to admin have not been adapted as times have changed. They do the job as it is with no thoughts of what it could be.
Should we, as Ricky Nelson suggested, learn our lesson well? Since we can't please everyone, should we learn to please ourselves? At the garden party of education, does having integrity also mean having a bit of selfishness about one's ideals?
I understand how easy it is to become disillusioned with working in education. If you care, it's hard work to be in a classroom...and even harder to steer a school. What variety of integrity is the right one?