Can we create a “Blame-Less” culture in schools?

School then and now
School then and now

I was sent this picture by a friend recently. I ask myself – “Does it really capture what school is like nowadays?” 

Today the culture of who to point a finger to seems to start young. The BLAME culture.

If a child does badly in school:

– Hey why doesn’t the school give remedial? Why doesn’t…….

Do the teachers understand what my child is going through?

– The poor child is too tired

– My child is hungry lah…cannot concentrate…

– Let me talk to the teacher….

– I want to see the Principal…..

The finger starts pointing…

The Talent Code
The Talent Code

In the book, The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle, he talks about how greatness isn’t born but grown. He researched the world for talent hotbeds – and he wrote about three factors that make the formula for success: deep practice, ignition and master coaching. Deep practice simply means lots of practice. Pure diligence. Learning from your mistakes.

During my student days, it was a shame to fail your subject. I remember tuition was rare and it was a real disgrace to fail your tests. Additional Maths was a challenge to many students. Some of my friends failed and they started taking tuition. Those who passed were relieved that we do not have to waste money on tuition. Many of us do not come from rich families and having tuition was a luxury few could afford.

When I first failed my English test, my dad gave me a huge whack on my thigh with a cane. There was no cry of child abuse then. Even though the caning caused my skin to crack and blood trickled. It was a good 4-5cm long on my little thigh then. And I was only in Sec 1 then. It brought me lots of pain – physically and embarrassment too. But it also made me determined not to fail my English again.

In an exclusive interview with Readers’ Digest (Feb 2012) issue, Michelle Obama shared this on Success: “You have to practise success. Success doesn’t just show up. If you aren’t practising success today, you won’t wake up in 20 years and be successful because you won’t have developed the habits of success, which are small things like finishing what you start, putting a lot of effort into what you do, being on time, treating people well.”

I like that.

Finishing what you start. Do you start new things all the time but find it difficult to finish them?

Putting in a lot of effort into what you do. Due diligence counts. Passion alone is not enough.

Being on time. Do you value others’ time? 

Treating people well. Irrespective of their job, their status in society, their race, their family background.

On why her children made their beds and even help set the table – “We have to prepare them(her children) for life beyond the White House, and that means chores, responsiblities, treating people with dignity and respect and being mindful of elders and polite and kind to others….these are values we want them to have when they are old and grey…..we cannot take a break from all those values that we believe in. No we have to maintain those values, even here.” (Source: Readers’ Digest Feb 2012)

What’s the culture you are creating for your children? Is it “Blame-Less” or “Blame-MORE!”

Is your child growing up to be a creeper who constantly need scaffolding or an oak tree where others can lean on?

Useful link:

The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle

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