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Keep Students Accountable for Their Educational Success

Posted by Brian Spence on Nov 12, 2018 8:00:00 AM

EducationEducators are inspirational. They help young people tackle difficult subjects that will help them succeed later in life. Most students earn passing grades in their classes. Other youngsters need a little more motivation to help them pass their courses. These students may make constant excuses for failing grades or bad behavior. They blame their failures on teachers and fellow peers, without taking responsibility for their own success. How can teachers encourage students to take charge of their own academic success?

The National Education Association has several tips to help students become responsible learners.

  1. Establish an Uplifting Group Atmosphere for Students. Teachers should establish an environment that encourages accountability and responsible learning. Classroom management expert Katie Ortiz says educators must create a positive group identity. The retired teacher says it helps when young people know they're a part of a group. Ortiz believes an atmosphere of mutual respect that allows children to feel like adults. 

    The professional encourages educators to greet their students as they enter the classroom. She says it makes them appear confident and business-like leader. It also shows young people they are happy to teach them. "I think it is important to send the message through your demeanor and tone that you care about the kids," Ortiz said in the article. "Much the same way you are happier when you work for a principal who values you, kids respond better to a teacher who doesn't buy into the 'these are the worst kids' stigma and instead tries to get to know them and models respectful behavior, even when responding to disrespect."

  2. Make Students and Parents Your Partners in the Classroom. Educator Beckee Morrison believes having young people develop an educational plan helps students to succeed. Morrison is a 6th-grade social studies teacher at the Kalama Intermediate School in Makawao, Hawaii. She says when students take responsibility for their mistakes, they become more accountable.

    Morrison asks students to create a plan if they earn low grades. The targeted list has improvement tips with realistic goals. For example, one target is to turn in all assignments. Another one is to earn a specific grade. The students sign the plan, and Morrison keeps a copy. She believes students become more proactive after they develop a plan.

    The educator schedules conferences to review the student's goals. They speak about any steps students took to accomplish their goals. If they are unrealistic ones, the pupils change their plans. The educator also asks parents to support students' educational goals. She tells them how they can encourage their children to finish their homework. Meeting these learning goals are not easy, but the educator believes parents and children should work together. Morrison believes the united effort will help children grow into accomplished, responsible adults.

  3. Creating a Rubric to Help Students . Washington state teacher Terri Messing also encourages to pursue their academic goals. The Cedar Heights Jr. High School teacher has worked with students that prefer to slack rather than study. She believes educators must help students get invested in their work.

    The educator used Robert Marzano's book, "The Reflective Teacher," as a model for her classroom approach. Marzano suggested using an effort and achievement scale (in case you were wondering what a rubric is). It helps students complete their daily tasks and school responsibilities. There are also 10 learning targets students must meet. Each child receives a daily commitment grade of 1-4. Messing developed an effort and achievement rubric. It helps her eighth graders take responsibility for their learning. At the end of the month, students see their scores tallied on graphs. Messing was skeptical of Marzano's approach at first. Today, she embraces his method. The majority of her students have changed their work approaches.

If interested in learning more about this and related topics, visit the Education portion of our blog. And, if you are interested in hiring talented staff in your educational setting, please contact us.

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