8 KEYS of Excellence

“Always be a little kinder than necessary.”

INTEGRITY – Match behavior with values
Demonstrate your positive personal values in all you do and say. Be sincere and real.

Living in integrity means that everything we say and everything we do are true reflections of what we value, what’s important to us. Think about what your behavior says about you. Does it clearly show others what you value? Do you show up as honest and committed, or dishonest and indifferent? Are you spending your time with the people and activities you value, or is your focus elsewhere?

When we live in integrity we are sincere and true to ourselves—we don’t say or think one thing and do another. People trust and respect us, our relationships are solid, and we feel good about ourselves. Those positive feelings from others and within ourselves reinforce our values and build our reputation and self-esteem, leading us to greater success in all areas of our lives.


Look for creative ways to focus on the Keys: The following ideas will help you keep the Keys "alive" in your classroom. Include Keys covered in previous months as well as those still to come—it's vital to keep all of the Keys alive throughout the year!
 Toward the end of the day, have students do a “paired share” with another student,
chatting about how they lived a specified Key during the day and/or a time when they
forgot to live the Key. This can be done for the Key of the month or any other Key
you want to focus on as a reminder.
 Put students in groups and have them make a collage of the Key of the month, or of a
previous month. Take a group photo that they can include to identify the group who
created the collage and make it fun for the students at the same time.
 Have students place the Key of the month in headings of papers they write. For
example: Student Name
This Is It!
 Incorporate a daily/weekly quick-write where students record how they used the Key
of the month that day or week.
 Keep a permanent chart on the wall with students’ names listed down the side of the
chart and the Keys going across the top. As the day goes on and students do
something that illustrates one of the Keys, Speaking with Good Purpose, for example,
then the teacher or a student can go to the chart and put a check mark or a plus sign
showing that the Key was present in the classroom that day.
 Have your students be observers and data collectors by watching older or younger
students at play and charting Key behaviors with a plus or minus sign. Turn this into
an averaging lesson.
 Have students interview parents/guardians about what they think a particular Key
means and get examples of how they have lived the Key