advice, Be the change, being a teacher, education reform, new year

Who Is to Blame? Who Cares…

image from icanread

In the ever expanding debate on the state of education, it seems a lot of blame is passed around.  Teachers blame parents, parents blame teachers, public schools blame society, charter schools blame public schools, and politicians, well they seem to blame everybody.  Not a day goes by without another blaring headline of one side versus the other and frankly I am sick of it.  I know there is blame to be passed, I know there is blame to be had, but in the end, who really cares?

Blame doesn’t do us any good.  Blame doesn’t fix the problem.  Yes, I can lament the fact that not all of my students have the same socioeconomic background, the same level of parent commitment, heck, I can get upset about their varying degrees of pre-school involvement, but at the end of my teaching day, none of it matters.  What matters is what I do now.  What matters is how I work with the students, with all of their background, and how we keep them successful from there.  Blame is great to discuss, it can get us all riled up, it can get us more invested in the debate, but really it takes our focus off of where it should be – what we can do in education with the students we have.

So this year, I am going to try to step out of the blame game.  Yes, I know there are many ills in our public schools and society in general.  Yes, I know poverty is a major factor in many students’ lives.  Yes, I know that I cannot control what happens outside of school or what happened before they became my students but I can control the now.  I can play a part in what happens starting September 4th and for a whole school year within the walls of our classroom.  I can focus on the students as I have them, rather than the blame I would like to assign.  I am going to take my energy off of blaming and place it back with my students.  I will continue to work and fight for change.  I will continue to be a voice in the debate.  But I will not continue to just pass the blame and do nothing.  Are you with me?

1 thought on “Who Is to Blame? Who Cares…”

  1. Me too.I told my students in a discussion about class climate when it was time to make personal commitments that in the end, the only thing they determine about the class climate is what they do, even if the teacher or classmates aren't doing what they would want.I need to remember that more often myself.

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