A local high-school teacher in a neighboring county shared with me the standards for an annual term paper that is required this time every year. This term paper is not just about the content of the paper or the grammar of the paper. It also is about responsibility. Each student signs a contract that states what is required in the term paper, along with the time frame in which this term paper is to be done. Although I was never a fan of term papers when I was in school, I want to applaud these teachers for setting up guidelines and staying true to those guidelines.
I have not written a single term paper since I completed college, but on a daily basis I am required to live up to any and all contracts I have signed. On a daily basis I am required to complete my work in a timely manner and meet deadlines placed before me, or suffer the consequences.
As adults we know that life’s consequences are much greater than the letter grade on that paper. If you are late with a payment, you will pay a penalty or, worse, the contract you signed can be called back and your home or vehicle can be taken from you. Fail to do your job in a timely manner and meet deadlines, and you could find yourself without that job.
A thousand thank-yous to those teachers throughout our nation who are teaching responsibility. Thank you for understanding that responsibility and other life skills must be taught within the subject matter. It is when our students are taught life skills and their responsibilities, as citizens of the communities in which they live, that our nation stands a chance of winning the war on poverty and crime.