You know, education isn’t what is used to be!
Okay, so here’s another blog where Teacher Bill is going to go off on a rampage.
I remember being in school. I remember thinking how stupid it was. I remember thinking and talking about how old my teachers were. I remember not wanting to do homework. I remember not wanting to go to class. I remember not liking some teachers. I remember failing tests. I remember getting good grades.
What has all this got to do with today? A group of grade 8 students.
How can one impress on these kids, just how important their education is? How can a teacher motivate, unmotivatible students? How can someone, who is easily 3x their age, get it through their thick tiny skulls, that what they do now will definitely impact their futures?
Personally, I think a lot of their attitude stems from the fact that they are teenagers. Okay, strike one. Second, a lot of their motivation, or lack thereof, comes from their parents. Strike two. The teachers have already given up on these students, by considering them ‘bad students’ – that is, either they can’t act properly in school, don’t do their homework, or just don’t care. Strike three!
I have tried, in vain, to impress on these kids what an education means. I have tried to express to them what kind of a student I was in school, whether they believe me or not. I don’t mind saying, I wasn’t the best student in school as far as marks are concerned, but I did show up for classes, write tests, do my homework…
It seems like these kids have the same feelings that I did when I was younger. And if I had these opinions or feelings, then surely others did as well. And our parents before us, and their parents before them.
As teenagers, we have the world by the balls, so to speak. We are now understanding that we are the future leaders. We see the flaws that our parents and teachers have. We know more than our elders. We know that we’ve got a lifetime ahead of us, and it’s just beginning. We’ve got lots of time to get things done.
Until that fateful morning when you wake up, and realize, what the f***! I have to go to work? A job? Where did the time go? What do you mean I have bills to pay? Rent to pay? A wife and children to care for? But I’m only 20 years old!! Then, it’s 30… and 40… and you suddenly realized you’ve pissed away your life on being a kid.
Now, I’m not saying that retaining youthfulness is a bad thing. It helps you to understand the younger generations, including your own kids, or in the case of a teacher, your students. I have known many people over my lifetime thus far, who are, chronologically younger, but mentally older than me. As well, I’ve known those very few, that are ‘over the hill’, but still have the same youthful attitude that keeps them ‘young’.
I like to think that I am in the latter category. My body may be 48, my attitude may be 38, but my mind and youthfulness (in my opinion) is still 28. I still feel that I can learn something every day of my life. I possess a certain adult-ness, but at the same time, can be a kid. However, trying to sit on the floor with my little 5 and 6 year old kindergarteners, takes a toll on these old joints!
I don’t want to give up on these kids. I want them to realize that there is more to life than video games. There is more than T.V. There is more than screwing around in class. There is a world of opportunity. There is a WORLD!
This isn’t the first class I’ve had like this. This class happens to be all boys. I had another class that I recently was relieved of (thank god) that were all girls. Their attitude mirrors this class. They don’t care. They don’t want to care. All they are around for is to copy answers, get a mark, get out of school, and then lord knows what. It is actually sad.
On the other hand, I do have a few classes that are incredible! There is one class in particular, that I cannot wait to see. I have a fun time with these kids, they all seem to have fun in the class, they’re always in a good mood, they listen, participate, and at least TRY to learn something. This class also happens to have the highest class average of ANY class I teach. I know, if I give them homework, they will do it. I know if I give them a test, they will complete it without asking each other for the answers. I know, that if I begin a conversation at the beginning of class, they will all have some input – some more than others, but that’s only natural.
For anyone reading this blog, and who has been or is a teacher, and you could give me any advice, I would surely consider it. And please, don’t say play games in class! This is school. They play enough games before, after, between, and during class, they don’t need more game playing. I’ve tried, and it doesn’t work.