Blog Post: The Expectations Sea Change

I was recently talking to a group of teachers when I was asked, “What do you see as the biggest change in education in recent years?”


That is kind of a loaded question, because there have been a number of significant changes in recent years, both positive and negative.  But here is a significant change that I don’t hear anyone else talking about.


Since the early 1990’s there has been a significant change in teacher expectations for student success. Today’s teacher expects all of her students to be successful.  Any student that is not successful, the teacher knows that student, the teacher is bothered by the lack of success, and the teacher has some plan to make the student more successful.


The reader may believe that this has always been the case, but that would be a mistake.  This is relatively new.  For example, when I began my teaching career in the early 1990’s, one of my first conversations with my principal went a little like this…


“Mr. Cain, if too many of your students FAIL your math class, you are a bad teacher.”


This seemed fair, after all my job was to teach students math. But then he continued…


“And if too many of your students PASS your math class, you are a bad teacher.”


Think about this. When I began teaching there was an acceptable failure rate for high school math classes. Which means that academic casualties were just the cost of doing business.


This is no longer the case.  Does that make the job of teacher more difficult? Yes.


Is this better for ALL students? Absolutely!


Think. Work. Achieve.

Your turn…

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