As a 24-year-old, standing in front of my classroom full of high school sophomores is not something I find too difficult. I haven’t been far removed enough from high school to be completely out of touch. I still keep up with the latest pop music, Internet sensations, and relevant slang. It helps that my younger siblings who are still in high school help me stay “with it.” Of course, it is only natural to compare this new generation of teens with my own, but I think it leads to some pretty interesting observations.
And when I say observations, I mean, “What the hell is wrong with you people?”:
1. They’re naive.
My kids think they can read a headline and automatically know everything there is to know about everything. Due to their overuse of the Internet, they feel that they have a special leg-up on everyone else – that they are somehow superior. Whatever does not directly effect them is simply unimportant, and they are usually pretty vocal about it.
2. They choose poor role models.
Whether it’s Miley Cyrus or Justin Bieber, the market has become saturated with imbeciles. (Morons? Ignoramuses? Take your pick.) Teens today worship things that have taken huge, smelly dumps on anything resembling true intelligence and art. Thus, a promising generation becomes decimated in propagandized nonsense and dribble.
3. They can be rude.
I sometimes feel that aside from having absolutely ZERO filter, some of the teens I work with have little concept of things like “personal space” and “courtesy.” Some things are small: holding the door open for someone about to walk through. Some things are large: saying exactly what’s on their mind without giving any thought as to what the person on the receiving end of the comment might think or feel.
4. They have a poor work ethic.
I have heard, more than once, a kid say that their dream would be to have absolutely zero responsibilities (i.e., play video games all day without suffering any consequences). Anything school-related, now matter how engaging or relevant I try to make it, seems to be a nuisance. For many, the mission in life is not to grow up and contribute to society, but to skate by as best as possible without having to put forward any real effort.
5. They are often unprepared.
If I had a dollar for each late assignment I have received this year, I could probably take a week off. Their poor work ethic bleeds into their classroom success and competencies in a very negative fashion. They also do not seem to understand prioritizing as most of the work is done the night before in a complete hassle. Some of the work that gets submitted simply makes me laugh because there was so little effort attached.
6. Despite all your efforts, they always make you laugh.
They’re goofy. They’re wacky. They’re just plain hysterical.
IF YOU MADE IT THIS FAR…
You probably have realized that this is no different from when we were high schoolers ourselves. Hell, some of you probably thought to yourself, “…but I do that now.” Often times we are quick to judge all of the distasteful craziness that today’s youth always seems to emulate. Beneath everything, they are learning how to express themselves. They are finding their voice and it is truly amazing to be in a position where I can watch them grow and realize their true potential. Know your roots and cherish all of these young minds.