How many times have we heard our students protest, “It’s not my fault!”
Our students make all kind of excuses but to be fair so do we. One of the greatest excuses both teachers and students alike make is that It’s not my fault.
I have returned home from 10 days touring New Zealand speaking to a number of great teachers who are doing some very innovative things in the classroom.
It was interesting for me that many of the teachers were deeply concerned about the education system as a whole and the affect it was having on their teaching. They were asking some great questions. Questions such as:
- What role do you think poverty plays in student performance?
- Where should we draw the line with internet censorship and blocking of content
- What do we do when parents have unrealistic expectations that have been fed by the media
The more we discussed these issues, the more certain I became of my response.
In a nut shell here is what I think.
We have got to stop looking to blame someone or something for our results.
One of the greatest excuses I hear educators, politicians, executive teams, school boards and everyone in between make is “It’s not my fault”.
When it comes to
- Implementing change
- Student behaviour and engagement
- Or any other facet of teaching
The line I hear more than any other is it’s not my fault, and then they proceed to blame someone else for their condition.
We are so good at blaming the system, the politicians, the lack of internet, limited budgets, the attitude of kids these days and so on but at the end of the day someone needs to say, despite all of this I will find a way to succeed!
We don’t like it when our students make excuses for poor performance so neither should we.
I really think it is time to stop saying it’s not my fault, pointing fingers, shifting blame. As teachers if you are waiting for the system to be overhauled, students to ‘get it’ parents to support you, pay to increase, budgets to be realised before you become an excellent teacher then you will be waiting a very long time.
I think it is time we realised that as teachers we can excel despite our circumstances (and by the way so can our students).