30. The Blame Game
I want you to think about the last conversation you had about why a student of yours was struggling.
Or maybe a whole class was struggling.
What were the reasons you gave for why?
You might not remember the last time this was the topic of conversation but if you do how many of you brought up your role in the lack of student success?
I wonder if most teachers have ever brought that up in the conversation.
We are very good at explaining why everything else is always to blame for all of our problems. We are quick to explain away anything that might be an indictment on us as the educator.
This is an extremely natural response and it is not unique to education.
Whether we are in our educational roles or any of our other roles in life we really need to process why we are willing to give up our control and start blaming others for everything in our lives.
When we get defensive and start looking outside of ourselves in our problems it very quickly digresses to not be about the learning, the students, the school, etc.
Now it's really just about us and getting what we want in the situation.
This sounds eerily similar to a 2 year old toddlers fit.
“I want what I want and I want it my way,” we tell ourselves, and I am the teacher so I get it my way.
The most detrimental thing we can do in our roles as educators is to not own up to our role in the problems we face. Playing the blame game will drag you and your emotions down faster than almost any other practice.
You really do give up your control as soon as you blame someone, something, the system, etc.
Another very unfortunate side effect of the blame game is our inability to see the students we serve as people.
They have swung over to the problem side of the equation and have become something we just have to deal with.
Teaching people is not something where we have to “deal” with them.