Students Should Take Responsibility for Grades

As I have been finishing up my fourth and final year in high school I have begun to notice a trend in teacher-student interactions that is clearly detrimental to the learning of students.


I have heard students blaming their low grades on teachers’ teaching abilities or personality instead of taking responsibility for assignments they didn’t complete or time they didn’t spend studying.


Instead of looking outward to find out what needs improvement perhaps we should look inside ourselves first, before placing blame on those around us.


It is true that teachers are directly in charge of grading, but it isn’t fair to make them responsible for completion of assignments as well, a responsibility that some students and even parents apparently feel they should carry.


If students are not willing to put in the work to do an assignment or study for a test they shouldn’t expect a teacher to put in the time to clean up after them.


Sophomore Hannah Randall said, “It’s frustrating to me when students who don’t put in the effort expected blame our teachers.  Teachers can only do so much for us and then we have to be willing to accept the reality that we have to grow up and work hard for what we think we deserve.”


The paradox of this lack of accountability for low grades is that students and parents are just as eager to accept the positive results as solely their own.


Of course there are teachers who are not doing their part, but the vast majority of teachers I have come in contact with at Dimond are wonderful educators who care about their students and are happy to help students who come to them with real concerns.


I have found that as I take the time to get to know my teachers I have been able to develop relationships with them that have fostered important interests of mine and helped me be successful academically.


Being proactive in my education is something I learned from my parents, starting with learning how to use my words to communicate my needs as a toddler.


My experience in the past four years I have spent at Dimond is that teachers are more than happy to work with students who communicate with them about academic needs such as absences or personal difficulties interfering with school.


My parents have always expected me to be accountable for my actions, whether good or bad, and this expectations has transferred to every aspect of my life.


Interestingly, it seems that quite a few parents are not requiring their kids to be accountable or responsible for themselves, almost enabling their children to continue in the dysfunctional cycle of blame and irresponsibility.


Dimond math teacher Jim Anderson said, “Think bigger picture: what’s the end game? If they’re just going to game the system how far is that going to take them?”


Lack of accountability in schools is direct reflection of a common attitude throughout society: do what is easiest.


In the short term, blaming others for a personal failure or setback is an easy way to avoid really looking inward and examining what needs to be change, but a long term perspective shows that that behavior is harmful for everyone involved.


Realizing you need to change can be a very humbling and painful experience, but it is a vital part of life, a part we deprive our children of when we show them it’s acceptable to place blame and become a victim.


We are incredibly fortunate to have the opportunities that we have when so many people in the world have much less.


We need to take advantage of the opportunities we have to learn academically and personally so that we can someday extend the opportunities we enjoy to everyone, but this won’t ever happen if we are sitting in classrooms blaming our teachers for everything.


Students, take responsibility and look to the future.  It is only as bright as you make it.


Parents, teach your children to be responsible stewards both in word but also in action.  Show them what it means to be accountable.