In a recent article in the Las Vegas Sun, Cathy Estes (a teacher in Nevada) asks a really big question–"Whose responsibility is education?" She goes on to lament, "Some days it seems that our students view responsibility as a burden, some horrendous task that they are forced to take on. So often, responsibility for just about everything is projected by our students onto someone else." This notion prompted one of Ms Estes' colleagues to post the following: "You will not blame your mother when you don't have your homework."
The real trick is how to change the behavior and attitudinal habits of students. When kids have not been held responsible for their educational success, the notion of "It's not my fault" is often quickly assumed. Whose job is it to instill a sense of responsibility? How do we encourage kids to step up to the plate? What will create an internal reward for successful behavior that presses kids to choose to take the responsibility?
Resistance to homework or schoolwork is a decision…but practiced often enough it becomes a behavioral habit. So parents and educators have an assignment beyond filling our students heads with data and information. We need to find ways to make our kids feel better about being responsible than when they slough.
It probably comes down to encouragement….encouragement…encouragement. Kids need to feel good about positive behavior and attitudes. It's up to us to look close and find the "yummy" buttons that we can push to reinforce better attitudes about responsibility.
To read the rest of Ms Estes' article in the Las VegasSun, visit Las Vegas Sun