Pointing fingers: Students and teachers should start with themselves


Growing up, your mom probably told you that pointing was rude. Nonetheless, we’re all still very quick to ‘point fingers’ at others when something goes wrong. It’s something everyone fears: being at fault. While some people accept fault and move on, others struggle to take responsibility for the havoc they’ve potentially created or contributed to. There are a few important ways we see this taking place throughout our school days, like when you forget to turn in an assignment or a teacher hasn’t graded your work in a timely manner.

Many times, the life skill that is taking responsibility comes with age and experience. Therefore, the times we see this issue arise in our school, it tends to be among students. Under certain conditions, pointing fingers seems like the only viable method of defending your actions. I for one am no exception. Just the other day, I didn’t turn in a paper on time. Immediately I emailed my teacher and begged for forgiveness, blaming my mother (love you mom), for making me vacuum while I should’ve been writing my essay.

Although the majority of instances with not taking responsibility happen with students, there is a responsibility to be taken by some staff members as well. The further I get into my high school experience, the more I learn about relationships. As well as learning how to maintain friendships, I’ve come to understand the importance of teacher-student relationships. It has become apparent to me that not all teachers prioritize communicating with their students, which I think is the main cause of discontent in our classrooms. Communication, as you may come to find through reading expert advice (or listening to your friend talk about her three-month relationship), is a crucial part of building a strong relationship.

Communication between student and teacher can make going to school a much less stressful experience. The first step in creating better teacher-student communication requires both parties to address the issues we’re experiencing and accept our part of the blame. Now, I’ve never been a teacher before (outside of playing school when I was little), so I can only attest to the frustrations of the students. Putting hard work into assignments that sit in the grade book and collect dust is frustrating for students that prioritize their grades. Emailing a teacher continuously about grades and “missing work” with no acknowledgment can really diminish students’ drive to turn in work on time. We shouldn’t have to get parents or administration involved to get assignments graded. Although it’s discouraging for students, I’m sure it’s equally as frustrating for teachers to put just as much hard work into a lesson plan just to have select students blow it off.

Teachers and students alike share vexations over controllable situations. The solution is quite simple; it involves maturity and responsibility. Students, turn in your work on time. Emailing your teacher after an assignment is due should not be your main course of action. We only have a few teachers, and they have dozens of students. Likewise, work that’s handed in on time should be graded on time. Each classroom functions differently, but the grading process should remain consistent throughout. We have to make a cognizant effort to take down the wall in between teachers and students. If we learn how to start pointing fingers at ourselves, we can make the learning process much more enjoyable for both parties.