There has been a definite role reversal in public school, at the elementary level at least, that has taken place. Students have the idea that they are the adults and that the teachers and staff are there to cater to their every whim.
Students are given rules to follow and then it is left up to them to decide whether they will follow those rules or not. The problem is, there is no consequence for not following the rules. There is no purpose to a Code of Conduct if the codes are not enforced with relevant consequences in place to support them.
When children see that administrators and teachers are not following the rules they naturally assume that they do not have to follow the rules. When children are rewarded for acting out by being given special duties and not being held responsible for the work they missed during the time wasted, acting out becomes a strategy used to avoid work. When not completing classwork or homework holds no more consequence than a meaningless 1 or 2 on an incomprehensible report card and attending summer school is a privilege, working towards graduation becomes an unnecessary effort that gives rise to an attitude of privilege and power.
Children fail because adults fail to recognize their role as models of success. Children are disrespectful because adults fail to respect the adult/child relationship. Children are mean because adults expect the child to act as an adult and most children see adults as being mean.
It has become an all too common practice of adults to blame the child for their actions instead of making the child accountable for their decisions. There is a difference. However, before we can hold children accountable we must hold adults accountable for their role in educating the child.
Teachers and administrators must become positive role models for our children. They must begin to follow school rules and require that students follow school rules, no exceptions, with relevant consequences for everyone. Righteousness is a learned behavior, it’s time we begin to teach it.
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