The Complexities of Responsibility

Jose VilsonEducation, Jose

I’ve found a bit of a paradox.

I bring this up because of the conversations I’ve been having with respected and degreed educators in my sphere, one whose very close to me personally and one whose cool with me professionally. Both have different schools and different situations, but both have the students in their schools in mind.

On one end of the argument, we have a large conclave of teachers who complain at every turn possible. Simple matters become grandiose events. We can have a professional development period, and once those kinda discussions happen, everyone has that looks-at-their-watch-when-is-this-over-not-just-yet-aw-man look on them. I’m all for rebel rousing and upsetting the established order, but there are also times when this sort of activity just isn’t necessary nor valuable to our primary objective: helping students. For example, someone who’s taught the same student for 5 straight years because that student can’t pass his class should take an earnest look at his or her class and how they’re addressing that child’s needs. Teachers who would rather read the newspaper in homeroom than take care of students and simultaneously complain about their students’ lack of effort boggle my mind.

But then there’s the flip side of that argument when we talk about responsibility. Teachers don’t always get treated like professionals, and the expectations for them shift depending on whoever’s in charge. Some of the bitter history between administration and teacher is hard to erase, and so is the whimsical flux often frustrated teachers. I’ve stated time and again how the profession of teaching takes time, and just from general conversations with teachers, I get the feeling that what’s “important” is usually just a facade to appease rather than actually researching and figuring out what’s best for the students.

So I’m at a weird spot right now. Any thoughts on this?