Should parents/guardians be held accountable for the effort of their children?'s Teacher Poll of the Week
Should parents/guardians be held accountable for the effort of their children?

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The results of this poll were overwhelmingly in favour of the idea that parents or guardians should be held accountable for the effort of their children. Where younger children are concerned this seems particularly important. It is far easier to set boundaries about video game and television time when your child is 6 than when they turn 16.

Children need structure and guidance to learn how to make their best effort. Given the opportunity most kids would spend the day playing and spend very little time on academic pursuits. Setting aside specific times to work on reading or printing shows younger students that these are valuable skills worthy of their time and effort. It also allows parents to be involved in the learning process which promotes closeness between parent and child. These lessons are best learned when the child is young. If parents place value on academic effort then the child will learn this ideal as well. When the student is older, this ideal will have become a learned behaviour.

If parents were held accountable for the efforts of their children, perhaps more parents would make an effort as well. Sometimes it is difficult to fit everything into our busy days. Reading with our youngster might become more of a priority if there was a measurable way to hold us accountable for their reading efforts at school. The problem is that there really is no measurable way to judge accountability. Some students are brighter and quicker than others and it may have very little to do with parent effort. Some students are incredibly self-motivated and it has more to do with their personality than parental guidelines or supervision.

The fact that so many teachers feel that parents should be accountable for student effort speaks volumes about the level of frustration that teachers must feel. Trying to instil a love of learning into students who receive a different message at home must be very difficult. Parents and teachers need to remember that they are on the same team and they should be working together to make every student the best that they can be.