For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been spending two days a week in one of the local middle schools here in the area. This participation with teacher observation and teaching some lessons is part of my practicum experience as I get certified. While my goal is to obtain my PhD and teach at the college level, I still want to see what is happening with students coming up through the school system, and who will be there in college just about the time I am starting out as Dr. Connie Wallace.
To the say the least, it’s been a very interesting, enlightening and enjoyable experience. I had to chuckle over the past two semesters, because I’m hearing a familiar phrase from many of the teachers whose classrooms I’ve had the opportunity to join and observe. “What’s wrong with kids today? There’s no respect anymore!” There has been some suggestion that maybe video games, technology, texting, cell phones, etc. has contributed to the downfall of our students’ behaviors.
I chuckle because as a history student, this phrase has popped up in each and every generation throughout known time. “What’s wrong with kids today?”
Generations following their parents will always hear this familiar phrase because things are forever changing. Nothing ever stays the same. Those that realize this are wise. In the 1950s, it was the beatnik movement and rock-n-roll, in the 1960s, it was anti-war movements and free love, in the 1970s platform shoes and ….polyester, in the 1980s it was big hair and punk, in the 1990s it was the home computer and video games, in the early 2000s it was cellphones and 3-D, and now, we are moving into an education system in which technology must be utilized because our children are smarter than what we give them credit for. Toddlers are using interaction with smart boards, video games and computers, and once older will probably be able to program anything given the opportunity.
The only problem I am seeing with KIDS TODAY is the vast canyon that spreads before teachers and their students. Those academic individuals that have been teaching for a while, are not integrating technology to their benefit. They still want to do things the old way, and it only leads to classroom management problems – not because students are bad, but because they are not being challenged enough. The government doesn’t get it either. They think testing students to standards is the answer and that’s not it either. Our students are going to be so tested out that they won’t want to come to school, and then we’ll end up being an illiterate nation. In coping with this vast canyon between the generations, we need to develop teaching methods to hone into the skills our children have developed that we don’t have. It’s not disrespect or video games, only the advancement of technology and our need to keep up with it.