how can we get children/teens these days to think? what can they make of the world?
they are addicted to constant flashy input and changes in technologies and ways of communicating. they are addicted to computer games, video games, texting and instant messaging, and all sorts of technologies.
they are in a competitive society (ameriduh) that bases grades and rankings on an odd, mismatched actual-intelligence-to-performance scale. they want to do the work for a grade, not to learn.
i try my best to plan things that the students will enjoy, and i still fall short.
there is less respect out there now than ever, and i can think of a few reasons why. ameriduh is so relaxed and falsely intimate (think facebook status updates: Julie is laughing at Robert who is drunk on the floor). and don’t even get me started with politics and the structure and values in society.
i’m saying a whole bunch of things. but mostly i was surprised that when i asked students to think and put some things they knew and had recently learned together…some of them couldn’t even begin to start thinking. they can memorize and repeat. often times without it even getting in their head. five seconds later someone will ask “what does that word mean?” that we were going over, or, “what are we doing?” and i said it and wrote it on the board.
well. who knows. it could still be partially my fault that i don’t spend 17 hours a day planning lessons. but i think it is a change in attitude and in how much thinking children do. they don’t have to be creative these days, the toys and the technology is creative for them. everyone gets a medal for trying, but then there are the SATS and the PSATS and the PSSAs and the ranking and tracking and the testing and it gets them all messed up.
i don’t know how to think right now, but i just can’t believe the amount of work a good teacher has to put in and can still feel like an entertainer and a disciplinarian (sometimes more like a babysitter), and occasionally a magician. all that and more before you can just be a teacher.
blippity bloppity doo.