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The Teacher and School Responsibility Issues


Modern pupils have a considerable number of tools, ways, and methods of obtaining knowledge opened for them by the new information society. However, despite this, parents are increasingly faced with children’s low academic achievement, and today this problem is particularly urgent. Moreover, society’s demands for education are growing: it is necessary to possess not only specific knowledge but also skills. It is impossible to solve this problem without identifying the reasons why children do not have good grades at school. Although there are a lot of reasons to think that schools and teachers are responsible for low test scores, most people would completely disagree and say that it starts at home.

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The school teacher always has power in the process of formation and education of the younger generation. Modern school is currently going through considerable changes: the intensive development of technical means of education, the high number of educational aids, the growing number of students. All these factors put a new task before the school, and therefore before the teacher. A practical and competent solution to them is fundamental and necessary, as it will determine the success of future graduates in adult life.

The teacher, during his or her professional activity, has a considerable influence on the personality of the student. This influence does not take place only within the framework of the educational process and the learning of new knowledge. The teacher becomes a model of behavior for the students. The identity of the teacher and the child is in constant interaction. The teacher forms develop and educate students. Thus, it is crucial for the teacher in the process of joint activity with the pupil to understand the peculiarities of child development and to take a positive view of the student’s personality. Moreover, it is crucial to realize the potential laid down in the student and to be aware of the degree of responsibility assigned to the teacher.

Arguments for teacher’s responsibility

Teachers’ incompetence can be expressed in many different aspects. In essence, one teacher is well aware of his subject but cannot hold the attention of the students the whole lesson, while another has gaps in the knowledge of his subject, but due to his oratorical skills, he does not allow students to miss during the lesson. However, some teachers both do not know their subject well and do not respect their students. It is the type of teacher which the educational system should get rid of as soon as possible.

Tests are necessary for the teacher to understand how children cope with the curriculum. Thus, if something goes wrong, the teacher puts additional studying hours: for example, increase the time to learn a complex topic. Such tests should be made on a regular basis (Egan, 2017). Through these forms of control, the teacher understands how well pupils learn the educational program. Ideally, students also understand what topics they need to repeat, for what help to turn to the teacher. If there are too many bad grades at school, it will have a negative impact on its reputation. In such a case, the school administration should intervene and find the cause of the problem. The school’s obligation is to find the right motivation for teachers and for pupils (Schneider, 2017).

The primary responsibility of the school for a successful educational process is to select professional teachers. The child, coming to the school on the first day, perceives the teacher as a figure with absolute authority. In the case of a teacher crossing the boundaries of ethics or even the law, children think that they deserve such treatment that they are guilty. Such situations can have terrible consequences in the form of psychological trauma, loss of potential of the child, and, of course, low grades and test results. That is why good teachers are vital. These people should not only give knowledge to children but also provide them with psychological comfort, and most importantly, inspire them.

Arguments against teacher’s responsibility

There are many reasons for bad grades and low test results. One, even the weakest, is enough for failure. By placing a great responsibility on teachers to raise a younger generation, it is necessary to remember the enormous influence of the parental family on the personality of the child. After all, it is the family that is the primary source of human values, where on the example of his or her parents the child sees in everyday life the manifestation of virtues or defects, and therefore assimilates them, then demonstrating in actions or declaring in statements. Unfortunately, it happens that the parents of the child devalue not only the work of the teacher but also humiliate his or her personality.

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Some teachers point to the facts of disrespectful attitudes from pupils (Sexton, 2018). Moreover, pupils have to study, but pupils are usually not guided by duties but by their wishes. If the child does not pay the necessary attention to the homework and lessons, low grades are his or her fault.

Parents are obliged to ensure that their children receive a school education. That is, at least make sure that the child finishes school, without being expelled. If a pupil is expelled from one school, parents will have to search for another. It is usually problematic, so parents should also be actively involved in academic achievement issues. There are many good teachers in schools, but without parental control, explanations of unclear moments in different subjects, without support, children cannot study well. The primary responsibility lies in parents, and then – teachers. If family members see the knowledge gaps in their children, they are more interested in eliminating them. The teacher will finish studying his students and forget about them, and parents take care of the children for the rest of their lives.

The student is not the object of obtaining information: each child has their own talents, interests, wishes, and life experience (“Low-performing students”, 2016). Every student is talented, but this talent needs to be found. Very often, children are engaged in things that are foreign to them: athletes sing, singers play football, writers handle physics, and mathematicians try to learn languages. It harms whole academic achievement. So, the duty of parents and teachers is not to pressure pupils because of poor academic performance, but to help them find a direction in which they will fully show their talents.


Many people note that the primary task of the teacher is to give children knowledge that will be useful in real life. However, it is not very connected with tests and grades, ratings, and pursuit of maximum points. If modern education focuses more on the development of critical thinking, the ability to analyze, draw conclusions, what to do with tests? The contemporary teacher should combine two functions – to be a tutor and a trainer in preparation for the tests and call the desire for knowledge during lessons (Stotsky, 2018).

After all, the passing test does not cancel the fact that students should have a particular idea of the subject, remember information and facts, and not only the instinct of quick answers to tests. Moreover, many researchers agree that test result do not show real knowledge (Koretz, 2017; Morgan, 2016). Mechanical memorization versus analytical thinking and engaging learning should not be a confrontation, but a combination of educational skills.

If teachers should address parents in person or online, it is crucial not only to tell about grades parents but also to comment on them. It is not obligatory to impose additional classes, and especially say that the child is uneducated. It is required to tell why the topic on which the tests were conducted is essential, why it should be repeated, give additional textbooks or other sources.

Thus, in order to obtain the best results in the form of learned knowledge and high grades for tests, all the following parties must take responsibility: school and teachers, pupils, and their parents (Matteucci and Helker, 2018).

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  • Teacher: should create a learning plan on his subject, inspire students to gain knowledge with the ability to speak clearly about it, help students, do knowledge testing, and identify gaps.
  • School, in turn, should: carefully select personnel for teachers, provide the necessary conditions and motivation for pupils and teachers to carry out a successful educational process, to solve problems in case of their emergence.
  • Pupils should: take a responsible approach to school attendance, regularly perform homework, and seek the help of a teacher if they do not understand any aspect of the subject.
  • Parents should: explain the importance of schooling to their children, provide them with moral and material support. Moreover, parents should keep in touch with teachers to track the successes and problems of their children. At the same time, it is essential for parents, as well as teachers, not to put too much pressure on children, as this will cause resistance to learning.


A teacher is a significant profession, no less important than, for example, a judge’s position or a police officer. Much depends on the teacher, including the level of education of the future generation and many other aspects. Therefore, answering the question of whether the teacher and school are responsible for the result of the children’s tests, one should think – what should the school do at all? After all, it is the primary responsibility of teachers to give children the level of knowledge required to ensure their future. And a college pass requires various tests. If the teacher is ready and has the strength to give the students a little more than specified in the program – he or she understood the essence and tasks of education.

However, it would be unfair to call only teachers fully responsible for low results, as even the most talented teacher may lose the desire to work with the student if he or she does not interact with the teacher. The responsibility falls on all sides of the educational process – school, teachers, pupils, and parents. Only their constant interaction and desire to work will provide future generations with both better knowledge and high grades on tests.


Egan, A. E. (2017). Relationship between teachers’ use of academic progress data and students’ test scores. Walden University.

Koretz, D. (2017). The testing charade: pretending to make schools better. University of Chicago Press.

Low-performing students: why they fall behind and how to help them succeed. (2016). OECD Publishing.

Matteucci, M. C., & Helker, K. (2018). Who is responsible for educational outcomes? Responsibility ascriptions for educational outcomes in a sample of Italian teachers, parents, and students. Learning and Individual Differences, 61, 239-249.

Morgan, H. (2016). Relying on high-stakes standardized tests to evaluate schools and teachers: A bad idea. The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 89(2), 67-72.

Schneider, J. (2017). Beyond test scores: A better way to measure school quality. Harvard University Press.

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Sexton, W. (2018). Investigating teaching strategies as a way to improve end-of-year test scores. Doctoral dissertation manuscript, Northcentral University.

Stotsky, S. (2018). Changing the course of failure: how schools and parents can help low-achieving students. Rowman & Littlefield.

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