Let's take a look at this distinction. One school of thought has the teacher look at outcomes and if they're poor, the teacher will first examine him/herself to question where the ball got dropped and what could have been done differently. The other school of thought has the same poor outcomes but the teacher will just blame the students for not knowing the material. My school's teachers are about 50/50 I think. We do have one department that is entirely on the side of blaming the students if something doesn't get done to a certain level. If the students bomb a test, they will say, "These kids are just so lazy. They refuse to put in the necessary work to pass my class." The most sickening thing to me is when their kids are successful, they say, "I have high standards in my class and that's why they're successful." or "Damn, I really taught the shit out of that unit." So when their students do poorly, it's because the students are bad. But when the students do well, it's because of the teacher? You can't have it both ways.
In reality if students do poorly on an assessment or a project, the blame should probably be shared between teacher and student. I know that with my quiz, I could have been much more focused on a step-by-step process and spent time on the main components. And yes the students probably could have done a little better job of paying attention. But am I going to just blame them? Give them 100% of the fault? No way. I'm going to go back and spend a couple days (actually three) and give focused instruction and activity so the components cement themselves inside their brains.
Does this make me a wonderful teacher? Not even close. But I think it is important for a teacher to own things in their classroom, including poor scores on assessments. End of sermon.
Leiningen Versus the Ants by Carl Stephenson
This is a wonderful short story about a man who owns a plantation in Brazil and makes a stand when a gigantic army of ants come calling. Everyone tells him that it is an Act of God, the ants are, and he should just accept it. He refuses.
Story: 9 of 10
It's translated (from German I believe) and some of the language is lost in the translation. The story itself is magnificent though. In fact, it really should be a movie. The plantation owner goes to the wall to win, even if it means he loses everything.
Teachability: 10 of 10
Lots of wonderful things in here, especially looking at the symbolism of the ants. Good, good stuff here.