In todays society, teachers are usually left to take the blame or praise depending on whether a student turns out a failure or a success. If a student passes his exams, it is because of the good work done by the teacher, and if a student fails, it is because the teacher is not paying as much attention as he/she should to the weaker student. This double standards on teachers makes them feel pressured when blamed and overly important when praised hence it is not an unusual sight all over the globe to see teachers striking, some demanding pay rise, while others demanding less work load or even a change of the curriculum.
While it is true that teachers do play an important role on the success of their students, many other factors as well also play a role in determining the outcome of a student in school. However of importance is the question, What should students be taught and tested on? Is it just their cognitive skills of knowledge and problem solving or should it spread to encompass character traits such as self-control, consciousness and self-regulation as it did in the past.
The GED test which is an alternative to graduating high school allows you to get into college by doing a test which requires about 32 hours of preparation compared with the over 3000 hours you would have to go through if you were to complete and graduate high school. Although this looks like a savory deal owing to the time and resources one would save, a research done showed that the number of students who go through high school and succeed in marriage, occupation and in generally most areas of life greatly outnumber those who get into college by taking the GED tests. Thus, it was observed that test scores only explain a tiny variability on individuals. The Marshmallow test which proved that children taught to restrain themselves at a tender age show more prospect of succeeding in life and coping with stress in the future also gives an insight on what should be emphasized in the curriculum taught in schools.
It is seen that a successful individual attributes his successes not only to the cognitive skills acquired in school but also to the environment around him. An experiment done on rats revealed that those rats which got affection from their parents at a tender age performed way better in different tasks than those left to fend for themselves. Similarly, parents need to foster positive relationships with their children and get to know their strengths and weaknesses. Such an environment for a child leads to healthy brain development and studies show that children whose parents are attached to them have 67% more chances of being successful.
Furthermore, children who fail in class need not be put aside rather they should be given counselling to understand the source of their problems and motivated to work harder and have an ambition to excel.
In general, contrary to the common assumption that it is the teachers on whom the success or failure of a student relies upon, it is the combined effort of parents, the students themselves and their tutors to provide a healthy environment where the child can be free to express themselves and be confident they can succeed as success does not start in the classroom but in the very brain of the child nurtured from birth!
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