Making sense of the SPR (Part 2)…

Part 2: Integrity

  1. Demonstrating openness, honesty, courage and wisdom.
  • OPENESS: It is important to be approachable as a teacher. One way of making this possible is by being open to new suggestions and questioning. We are now in a very digital age, where changes in technology are happening at an intense rate and we need to be open to this change for the benefit of our pupils. If we live in the ‘stone age’ with this, then we are not allowing our pupils to investigate technology and all its great uses.
  • HONESTY: It is important to be honest with your pupils, other teaching staff, external agencies, parents and also yourself. In doing so, you create the best structure for positive relationships. By being honest with your employer about your strengths and weaknesses, you can allow them to support you in your progression for the future. It goes without saying that it is important to have an honest nature for this profession and to convey the importance of honesty to pupils across the school.
  • COURAGE: Having the courage to stand up for what you think is right. I think this incredibly important in areas where you feel a child is not receiving the support it needs either at home, in the community or even within the school. This could also include having the confidence in your teaching methods, the confidence to address issues in school with parents and so on.
  • WISDOM: Having an in depth knowledge of the curriculum subject areas and being able to conceptualise them for greater understanding by the pupils. Also, being able to share ‘life lessons’ with pupils, parents, staff etc. that are not included in the specifics of the curriculum. For example, if a parent is struggling to get their child to engage with homework tasks – you are able to provide information on how you would do this from previous experiential learning.
  1. Critically examining personal and professional attitudes and beliefs and challenging assumptions and professional practice.
  • This could include looking at literature and critically analysing the writing – something we will do often as teachers. Looking at professional practice and assessing how the literature may not correspond with what you experience from day to day.
  • Looking at your own beliefs when it comes to education and assessing whether they are sound beliefs. Ie is there a better way of looking at something than the way you currently do.
  • Looking at school rules/standards and how they work for staff and teachers. Do they work? Is there a better solution to certain problems? For example, is the sanctioning of pupil’s really effective in eradicating poor behaviour? Or do we need to be looking at more positive reinforcement for the child.
  • I think this is the idea of constantly challenging what you think you know and what you have been told to bring it in line with the current situation/circumstance.


  1. Critically examining the connections between personal and professional attitudes and beliefs, values and practices to effect improvement and, when appropriate, bring about transformative change in practice.
  • I think much of this point links in with the points I have noted above.
  • Emphasis on the fact that having challenged a point of view, to do something positive about that. For example, if you feel that the links between social work and the school are poor, why not look at setting up a meeting or attending discussions with external agencies?
  • Taking your concerns to your head teacher or depute to bring about positive change within the school confidently.

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