Monday, March 24, 2008

Frustration and Annoyance

It is sometimes difficult to understand teenagers. I don't feel that much older than them, but I know that I did not procrastinate the way they do. I don't think that the other kids in my high school classes refused to do their assignments, or were happy with a D on an assignment or for their overall grade. I know my parents would have stepped in far before that grade became permanent and I would have been in serious trouble, but I also know that it was never an option I would have considered. My kids do not seem to care how low their grade gets. At my old school, I usually had 1 or 2 kids with 99% or 100%, here I am lucky to have 2-3 kids with A's, much less 100%. I can't get them to turn anything in, I can't get them to work in class, they won't work at home, and their grades are really really bad. Some other teachers and I talked about this after school today and we are not sure what the reason is. I think it is a change in the culture that now rewards ignorance. Being stupid is now cool, and no one will admit to being smart. Education is not respected in the community I am a teacher to and until pop culture stops rewarding ignorance and stupidity, I do not see that fact changing. Another teacher believes it is a result of other teachers lowering their homework standards. I can also see this, as I have had students tell me that I give them a lot of homework. I do not give them very much homework, possibly the sum total of one hour (usually less) a week. Another teacher thinks it is because our kids have to work after school to help support their families and they don't have time to do anything outside of school. I think it is a combination of all three factors and I don't know what to do about it. I refuse to make my class less strenuous, and I can't do anything about them working or the culture of rewarding stupidity. I'm not sure how to deal with this situation.

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