In the schools-Responsibility

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John Crawford, Principal Jellico Elementary School

Many times it is human nature for all of us to have the tendency to not want to take responsibility for the tough choices that have to be made in life. This is not a criticism of other people, it is true of me as well. We expect everyone else to do something about community problems or wonder why people allow bad things to happen.  In reality we all need to realize we are those “people” that are responsible.
When it comes to education the same rules apply. Every person who comes into contact with a student is responsible for their development. Parents, teachers, bus drivers, cooks, and for sure the students themselves share in success or failure.
Parents have the first contact with a child and can help determine how a student perceives school. Do we let them know it is a good safe environment for learning or a place where no one cares for them? Parents also take care of physical needs such as food, clothing, enough sleep and making sure homework is done. This is a very important part of the learning process.
Teachers must ensure their classroom is a place for learning. Different styles and methods of teaching exist, but learning must occur. Teachers must plan their curriculum based on standards that have been deemed important to learn, professional educators also need to maintain good discipline in order for the classroom environment to be conducive to learning. We as teachers also need to continue learning ourselves. Keeping up with new innovations and techniques will improve our schools.
It is also important to mention other support staff such as cooks, custodians, and teaching assistants. Good schools do not function without good support. Our kitchen staffs prepare nutritious meals in clean environments. Custodians must have buildings clean and inviting. Busses must run on time and travel roads safely. Assistants must help both teachers and students.
Finally, the students themselves must be responsible for their education. We are all ultimately responsible for our own lives. If a human being becomes successful other people help, but usually no one gives another person anything, it must be earned.  Students must “earn” an education and be accountable for their actions. The harder they work, the more successful they will become.
All of us as a community must be responsible for educating children. We can’t just say “Why don’t they?” we must say “How can we?” After all, it is everyone working together as a unified community that truly makes education work.