Editorial - Are teachers responsible for failing students?

Updated: Sep 2, 2021

“A teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn, is hammering on cold iron”. - Horace Mann

A teacher’s role and responsibility are to educate a child according to the curriculum provided by the school. A student’s role is to grasp what they are given by the teacher and make use of that information to further their understanding of a subject. From this view, it seems as if the responsibility is all on the students but could it be that some teachers are unable to deliver content according to a child’s aptitude?

It goes both ways. Teachers must put in the time and effort to deliver course content in a way that is understandable and informative and students must also put in the time and effort to absorb the knowledge. It takes two to tango and no one side can be universally blamed for all the mistakes in academics. However, in our modern school culture, the emphasis of this argument is usually placed too heavily on the students causing problems like excessive stress, depression, anxiety because they blame themselves for what could be the failure of their instructor or the failure of the system.

A teacher is paid not just for delivering lectures and presentations, speaking to themselves on a subject. They are paid to educate the students and help them grow. In the end, teachers are responsible for failing students, to an extent. They are not sheltered from blame and they are not perfect. Teachers are human too and they make mistakes, but as with all others, they must learn to accept their mistakes and learn from them.


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