The Importance of Accountability
Everyone has been a part of a team that relied on all group members to perform their own work in order to be successful. Oftentimes, especially in school, this may mean that one group member takes the opportunity to be lazy, leaving the others to pick up the slack. That same person is probably the one who keeps asking the teacher for extensions on work.
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This sets a bad precedent and encourages that person to develop bad habits that will bleed over into their work life, possibly setting them up for failure. It is important that teachers hold students accountable to develop good habits so that they can be successful in college, and so that they can advance at work.
One way to develop good habits is to be shown those habits by someone in your life, and a teacher is a great person to learn from. If teachers hold students accountable, then students can develop consistent habits for long-term success. According to James Clear, it takes 66 days “before a new behavior becomes automatic.” This is why teachers need to enforce accountability in their classrooms and not allow students to slack on work or keep extending deadlines to help lazy students. This will force students to develop a habit of holding themselves accountable as well because it happens over a long period of time, developing those important habits for the long term.
Once a student leaves high school, they may choose to go to college to get a degree, whether it is a two-year degree or a degree that takes a decade to achieve. It is a time when students need to take responsibility for their studies because college teachers are too busy to nag their students and force them to turn in work on time. Accountability in college means that a student can communicate with their professors to gain clarification and build relationships, work with academic aides to plan their schooling, and guard their time carefully to make the most of their time (Chadwick). A student who has been floating through high school could find themselves struggling to turn in work, failing classes, and losing their valuable investment, so it is important to already have those habits for success in college.
When leaving college and entering the working world, it becomes even more important to be a reliable team member. When a person is hired, it is a literal and implicit contract between them and the employer where they agree to perform work on time. Additionally, leaders who are willing to be held accountable are more likely to be “effective in building a culture of accountability in their organization” (“The Real Meaning of Accountability in the Workplace”). Both as a team member or leader, a person will need to hold themselves accountable in order to be successful over the long term. It is helpful if teachers have helped to establish a habit of accountability early.
In short, the importance of accountability has many aspects. Teachers can help students develop these habits by making them turn in work on time which will help students be successful and manage their time in college and go on to be productive, valued members in the workplace. The world is better when an entire team does their part, regardless of the setting.
Chadwick, Scot. “Do College Right with Accountability (8 Tips).” Accountable2You, 2 Sept, 2019, https://accountable2you.com/blog/college-accountability/. Accessed 7 July 2021.
Clear, James. “How Long Does It Actually Take to Form a New Habit? (Backed by Science).” James Clear, https://jamesclear.com/new-habit. Accessed 7 July 2021.
“The Real Meaning of Accountability in the Workplace: 4 Steps to Reframing and Mastering Accountability in the Workplace.” Range, 9 May 2021, https://www.range.co/blog/accountability-in-the-workplace. Accessed 7 July 2021.
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