Sunday, August 8, 2010


Again and again, I have heard the same complaints from teachers about kids.  Myself included will make comments about students that we are SURE were not true for us in our day.  Kids are so much worse.  They are so much more disrespectful.  And we are so worried about them not being able to do certain things because they can't do things that we could do at their age.

Okay now let's grind this to a halt.

Are we REALLY so POSITIVELY CONVINCED about this?  I am going to go through a chronological reflection and see what we can conclude at the end?

TEACHER complaint #1

We are in the year 2010

1968 Bye Bye Birdie "What's the Matter With Kids Today?"

1967- "To Sir with Love"  This is a movie about a young teacher in Britain dealing with a class of disrespectful, careless students.  They challenged him in every way showing utter defiance.

1985 "The Breakfast Club" A movie about some miscreants who get together for being in detention.  It focuses entirely on their defiant behavior.

1995- "Dangerous Minds"  This is another movie about a teacher challenged with kids who do not want to listen to anybody.  She enters the classroom to a room full of students on desks, putting on make up, chewing gum, and determined to do anything they can to drive her away.

2007- "Freedom Writers" Almost anyone will know the point behind this one.  Kids who seem unreachable even go to the point of walking out of the classroom because they hate the teacher so much are enriched by the difference she makes.

Now for some personal experiences.

My mother, when she started teaching, was in a room FULL of students who had gotten rid of their other teachers and were trying to do anything to get rid of her.

When my mother's cousin started teaching, a student threatened to cut her face.  She quit.

A teacher in the county I'm working for now is in her 30th year.  She said her first year, the students said, "We've gotten rid of 5 teachers. You'll be number 6."  She left 8 years later, but wasn't number 6.

ARE KIDS ANY RUDER than they once were?  Perhaps WE were not aware of how rude and disrespectful WE could be as students.  Now that we are adults, we just know better.

TEACHER complaint #2
KIDS TODAY ARE SO LAZY! They want to write in text language.  They want to use a computer for everything.  They can't even use a library.

Granted, kids should get exercise and not always be attached to a computer or video game.  BUT this is for another point.

Are they really just lazy because they talk in text language and typically use computers for all of their research?

If somebody is BORN into a certain environment, how can you blame them for not doing what you did?  Should our ancestors blame us for not dipping a feather pen into ink to write?  We have found ways to be more efficient over time.  

To me, the fact that they can talk in text language AND understand all of it, shows a great deal of intelligence.  

I don't have a chronological order of movies for this one (sorry to disappoint), but I can show a chronological order of how methods of communication have changed.

Letter writing, feather pen and yellow paper
Type writer

Original rotary telephone dialing the operator for assistance

Home telephones rotary then the advanced touch-tone telephone

LARGE old school cell phones and car phones (they were high technology!)
And of course our cellular telephone technology has advanced to touch-screens, small phones, computer phones, iphones, and almost anything you could imagine.  We can't BELIEVE kids have cell phones and many of them probably don't need them.  The fact of the matter is, it is the culture today and it is as common now as land lines were years ago.


This could really encompass both of the other ones, but it also details other random things that we see as different.  They seem to dress differently, although many things are just coming back from the past.  They do their hair in ways that make no sense to us (I still don't know why you'd want a chunk of hair falling into your eyes so you can't see).  They don't say  "yes sir" and "no ma'am" like they used to.

Obviously, there are changes.  But again, ARE THEY WORSE? Or is it just not YOU?

KIDS! Why can't they be like we were PERFECT IN EVERY WAY?!? 

I'll side with "Bye Bye Birdie"

No, nothing's a matter with kids today.

1 comment:

  1. Great points! There are a couple of those movies that I will need to watch. Cute "Bye, Bye Birdie" song. I loved the songs from that movie. It's good to start the school year off with these thoughts.