A sense of duty should play a significant role in my classroom. Certainly my students should feel it. They should understand that definite courses of action are required of them. In English class, they have duties to perform each day, just as a soldier does, just as a courtroom judge does, just as a mother does. The word “required” is important here. If my students are to prove themselves as praiseworthy scholars, their duties are not simply encouraged, but are essential and thus obligatory. They are part of the job. Another part of the job for my students is their sense of duty to themselves. Simply because of they were given the gift of life, they have an obligation to themselves to live the finest lives they can possibly live. They have a sworn duty, you might say, to educate themselves as thoroughly as possible. Of course I, too, have a sworn duty. I am, in many ways, like an officer in the military who has taken an oath to uphold the duties of his office. My job is every bit important as a commanding officer in a war zone. I have the minds of dozens of children under my care and protection, and it is my responsibility to see that they are meticulously educated in the ways of high school English. I wear a bow tie and jacket each day. Duty-bound officers have their uniforms, and I have mine.
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