As the end of the rolls in and students and teachers finish up lessons and grading periods. I am struck once again by the inevitable conundrum of responsibility of grades. The image below was sent to me by a fellow colleague and I think that it sums up the responsibility of education today. Teachers need to be accountable for what is taught and how students perform in their classes but we can not continue to place all of the blame on the teachers. Students, parents, and community also have a large role in the success of students in school.
As a society we seem to currently place the responsibility on others and not ourselves. Twenty years ago a common saying was, pull your self up by your boot straps today it seems to be, this is your fault. American ideals were founded on individualism. The responsibility of success was solely on the individual. Now it seems as though it is on society to ensure that I succeed. This erosion of responsibility and the american way has grown over the years. As educators and parents we need to address this with our kids. We need to stress to them that they are responsible for their future not others. We need to give them the tools and teach them to be responsible so that they can be successful. We need to teach kids it is their actions that play the largest role in their success. Reform is good and has its place but until society takes responsibility for their own actions reform can only go so far.