Kids ask the most profound questions. Not long ago a sweet little young person asked me what “deserve” means. Have you ever tried to answer that question in terms a five year old can understand? It was one of those quick passing questions that happen in the hallway but results in some extended thinking into deeper meanings.
The built-in dictionary on my computer states that deserve means: “do something or have or show qualities worthy of.” So when someone deserves something, they show themselves worthy.
I have been pondering what role “deserve” plays in the educational process. Though I’m still in the pondering process, I hope that in the Copper River School District “deserve” and “responsibility” intersect in very meaningful and practical ways. It shouldn’t be all one or the other. There should be healthy amounts of both. Every child, regardless of ability, background, or personality, is worthy of a quality education. Likewise, every child, regardless of ability, background, or personality, must accept the responsibility of being “worthy of.”
For example, every student deserves the opportunity to become a reader. The CRSD should always provide quality curriculum, instruction, assessment, intervention and enrichment. But, it takes more than opportunity to become a reader. In order to become a reader, every student must accept the responsibility of learning to read. It takes practice, which takes time and effort from both the student and their family.
What about teachers, principals and other school employees? Clearly, they are responsible for providing the educational opportunity every child deserves. However, they also deserve respect. As the stewards of knowledge, teachers should hold an honored place in society. The best way for students to show them respect is to be responsible for their own learning.
The above thoughts are also true in our adult lives as we work, play and live in our community. If something is deserved, there is responsibility attached. This is not breaking news. Our Founding Fathers told us this when they won our liberty. I hope we haven’t forgotten.
What are your thoughts about how the definition of “deserve” should impact the educational process? Visit our blog at www.https://crsdsnippets.wordpress.com and share your thoughts in the comments section.