Tuesday, March 5, 2013


The word obligation may seem like an ugly word. It reminds us of many things we do not like to do, such as paying the bills, cooking, cleaning, and other kinds of chores. Obligations are also a good thing. The word "obligation" itself means a formal promise. This is an especially important concept for one to grasp in the world of education. Students are often times promised by the school they go to that each one of them will receive the best kind of education possible. However, parents, teachers, and the community all have important and different kinds of obligations to fulfill in educating our young minds.

The first obligations come in the form of the teacher. The teacher of any school is charged with educating his or her young minds to the fullest. I think this is one of the most important jobs available in any field. Without the proper people to educate the next generation, we will just end up in a stagnant world where our denizens are incapable of progress. A teacher should also introduce subjects that are foreign and different to the students of today's classrooms. This should not be read wrong. We still need math teachers and science teachers as well as grammar instructors. However, our world is constantly changing. We also need teachers to embrace concepts like Mitch Resnick  who realizes the importance of teaching kids to code. The teachers are not only obligated to simply teach and progress his or her students, but they are also dependent on the support of the community that they live in.

It may seem odd to think of a community as having obligations and responsibilities when it comes to the well being of students that some of them may not even know. The community is charged with supporting the job of the teachers that work there. It makes the teachers' jobs easier and doable. A school full of dedicated teachers cannot work properly if its leaders outside of the classroom are trying to go in a different direction. The students in the classrooms may be under the teacher's influence there, but each one of them spend much more time in their community then they do in the classroom. It is up to their parents and the community to be the voice of reason when their children do not want to learn anymore

What kind of goals should the community have as a whole?

A parent is a student's first teacher. He or she is always going to be a teacher to their own "student."  It is a parent's obligation to always take care of the student and always encourage learning not for the sake of test scores, but for the sake of their own child's growth. A parent makes a promise to a child when they bring one into the world. It is to always to take care of them and watch them grow. A parent should always be supportive of his or her child. It may seem like such a simple promise, but it is the most important life long commitment one could make.

This brings us to the student. The student has perhaps the most important obligation, but it also depends on all those around him or her. The students obligation is to take in as much learning as he or she can to grow both as a person and as a contributor to his or her own community. It is important for the student to grow as an individual. We should always be passing on what we learned and helped us grow as individuals to those younger and less experienced than us. However, we also should keep in mind that this is not an opportunity to live vicariously. It is a chance to help prevent the same mistakes that we made when we were young. It is perhaps even more vital for a student to grow as a contributor to his or her own community. We should all want to be responsible for creating a better place to live. It cannot be done with apathetic and uneducated citizens.

The obligations of a community, its parents, students, and teachers seem to act like a reactive chain. They each rely on and work for the betterment of the other. It is an interesting cause and effect chain. It shows how important education is. Without education, and this may sound cliche, we would be lost. We need these obligations to help keep us grounded and responsible. That is the one obligation that the student, teacher, parent, and community have in common. They all have to be responsible in order to learn. Without such focus and dedication, then the learning and education may not be seen as important.

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