Academic Accountability Leads to Greater Respect in the
Classroom and an Improved Classroom Climate
When I was in high school I was given a assignment to do in a 9th grade social studies class. I
was given two weeks to complete it but, like most kids I procrastinated until the night before. I
turned in the assignment the next day. Many of the projects that the other students turned in were
handed in stapled together, some in binders, some with report covers over them. Mine was turned
in with a paper clip holding together two sheets of handwritten paper. About a week later the
teacher turned the projects back. He never gave me mine back but, ask to see me after class.
When I met with him he looked at me and said, “What is this.” I responded by saying, “That’s
my project.” He then asked, “Is this the best you can do?” I said, “No, I guess I could have done
better.” He then asked me, “Are you capable of doing better?” I said. “Yes.” He then proceeded
to tell me that he wanted to meet with me after school to help me put a project together that
would improve my grade because what I turned into him was most definitely and F. He took the
time to help me do research, write better, and showed me how to put a report together. He had
academic expectations that I was never exposed to in the 8th grade but made sure that he gave me
all the help I needed from him to meet those expectations. I ended up with a B+ on the project.
Thanks to him.
What actually happened here? Because of this teacher’s academic standards and because of his
demand for high quality work I developed such respect for him and had an unquenchable desire
to want to please him. I not only worked on my assignments with much more rigor, I paid
attention in class, and studied in a much more productive way for my tests and quizzes. His
demand for academic excellence made me more respectful for him and his subject area and more
responsible for my own academic success.
When teachers have low expectation for the academic progress of thei