When I taught at Clinton High School in the past, I always told my students they needed to do two things to be successful in my classroom: attend regularly and always try their best. I would then ask them who controlled their attendance record and who controlled their best effort —and the answer was that they did! I wanted students to know they were in total control of their success.
I also believe attendance and work ethic are critical skills in the workplace. In conversations with employers, I have been told a primary reason for an employee to lose a job is poor attendance. Attendance in the workplace is important. For students, school is their workplace. I believe attendance is a habit or skill that is learned. Therefore, it is really important that parents, teachers, and administrators work together so student attendance becomes a high priority. The reality is that a student with poor attendance habits becomes an unemployable adult if he or she keeps those same habits.
Instilling a work ethic in our children is another important workplace skill, especially when learning becomes difficult. I believe it is important to teach and expect grit in our students. Grit is perseverance. Grit is not quitting. Grit is character.
Today’s workforce demands more than the traditional 3 R’s, reading, writing, and arithmetic. Parents and school personnel need to work together to develop the employment skills of attendance and work ethic in our current students to assure their future success in the workplace.