Evasion of student responsibilities

When schedules become too hectic or situations too stressful, students tend to blame their teachers and extracurriculars for their slipping grades. This evasion of responsibility has become a problem, as students are willing to point fingers at almost anything other than themselves.

Students are oftentimes unfair critics when it comes to judging teachers. It’s not an uncommon occurrence to hear a student say, “I failed the test because teacher X doesn’t teach.” While it is true that some classes are more productive than others, this is not a valid excuse for students to stop paying attention in class or to take zero responsibility for the situation.

Struggling students have the responsibility to ask teachers for help and stay engaged throughout all lectures. It would be very remiss for students to give up on a teacher, because it defeats the purpose of even attending class. So why do students find it so difficult to own up to a letter grade, and why are teachers receiving a majority of the blame?

Some students have personal insecurities about poor test grades. They worry about low scores reflecting who they are as a person, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Therefore, they choose to shift the blame from themselves to the teacher.

Others are upset that their time and effort put into studying for a test are not reciprocated in the form of a desired letter grade. While studying long hours for an exam can be beneficial, it doesn’t always guarantee an A in a rigorous, college-level class. There’s no shame in an occasional bad grade, and it’s unfitting to hold the teacher fully accountable for the situation.

Another group maintains that the teacher’s teaching methods don’t quite fit their preferred learning style. These students gripe that they cannot succeed unless they’re in their ideal classroom setting, so they hold the teacher liable for poor test grades. Regardless of the reason, students have the obligation of establishing a mutual communication with their teachers. Making a scapegoat out of a teacher for low grades should not be an option.

Many students also blame their extracurriculars for their academic shortcomings. Whether it be zero period orchestra or after school track meets, students often contend that such activities leave them with insufficient time to complete their homework or study for upcoming exams.

While it is true that extracurriculars can be time-consuming, they should not be viewed as a burden. After all, the purpose of an extracurricular activity is to allow students to develop their interests outside of a traditional classroom setting. If students choose to participate in activities they care about, then the time commitments linked with extracurriculars won’t appear as much as a chore. Not only do extracurriculars allow students to pursue their interests, but they also foster the development of time management skills, which are ever-so-crucial in a world full of responsibilities. With all of these merits, extracurricular activities are not deserving of all the blame.

The takeaway is that students need to think before they complain; they need to deeply consider who or what they are choosing to blame and whether their claims are valid. After all, it’s unlikely that one teacher or extracurricular activity is the only cause of any academic shortcomings. It may just be a matter of personal responsibility.

By Brandon Lai, Staff writer
Photo By Richard Zhang

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