by Joyce Shear, ESL teacher at Oracle Charter High School, Buffalo, NY C’mon, who doesn’t know about Dear Abby? However, if you were born and raised in another country, you may...
a blog by Oracle Charter High School graduate Tyrique Ransom
Oracle Charter High School has five core values that leaders and staff encourage everyone associated with Oracle Charter to live by.
Accountability is synonymous with responsibility. Oracle Charter School teaches its students accountability because in order to survive in the workplace, college, or even at home you need to be accountable for the things that you do, good and bad, and you also need to be able to hold others accountable for what they do. A way that teachers make sure we stay accountable and honor commitment is teachers put trust into you to complete your assignments to the best of your ability. And when you let them down they are really disappointed. On the inside it makes you feel guilty. My AP teacher did that to us. She trusted us so much and when things didn’t get done she’d just hang her head in disappointment. That right there, was enough guilt that motivated us as a class to get things done.
There’s a such thing as internal accountability. When you should be accountable to yourself. Like when you’re late to school. You know you shouldn’t be late to school and that you’re better than that. Being late to school, regularly, can take a real emotional toll on a student that cares about how they look to themselves. When I was late to school a lot I was disappointed. I felt like I was better than what I was showing. So eventually I got it together and started coming to class on time. Being on time didn’t help anybody but me, but with a small amount of effort I felt better about myself.
If you can’t count on someone to be accountable for their actions then you really can’t trust them in anything.
I decided to ask some of the faculty at Oracle Charter School what accountability meant to them.
Mr.Ehren Reynolds says: “An understanding that the parts are responsible for the well being of the whole.”
Mr.Christopher Capitumino says: “responsibility for things you have control over.”
Mr. Erik Hecker says: “Doing what you said you would do to the best of your ability.”
What accountability means to me is making sure that you realize your actions, good or bad, will always have consequences. You need to make sure you are ready to face those consequences for the choices you made.
I believe Oracle Charter School has these five core values because the school believes everyone needs to live with standards and these five are important for students and staff to be successful in school and in their lives. Having expectations and setting the bar high will lead to higher success rates.
I remember a time where I was not accountable in a very serious situation. My mom had laid about $500 on a table in the living room. I was young, about seven to eight years old. I saw the money and when everyone went to sleep I took about $100 of that money. I don’t really remember what I bought. It was gone pretty quick.
I didn’t come clean until I was 18 years old. I was afraid of what my mom would think of me but I confessed anyways. I got to a period of time where I realized that if I didn’t come clean the guilt would continue to eat me up like it had all these years. My mom was already over that whole situation, but it felt good to me that I was finally accountable for my actions.
I can also remember another situation where I have had to purposely make myself accountable. I have two little twin brothers with autism. So when my mom has had to go to work or go shopping she would ask me to watch the children. I had to make myself accountable for them. If they got hurt it was my fault. If they didn’t eat it was my fault. I understood how important it was and I did exactly what I was supposed to do and made sure they were safe and fed. I usually volunteered to watch my brothers and to be accountable for them as it helped my mother.
When was a time that you needed to be accountable? Please let me know I am interested in what you think.
Oracle Charter School is one of the high schools in Buffalo, NY, and is committed to expanding the horizons of its college bound students and enriching their world view.