So many kids, I don't know what to do.

Friday, August 27, 2010

I Want You to Know

Seems like so many times these days (Great. I just said, "these days. I am old.) we hear only terrible stuff about the young adults in our country. They steal stuff, they do drugs, they don't care, they feel entitled.

I teach high school in an urban school district. The break down here is 30-30-30-10. (That means 30% white, African American, Hispanic, 10% other.) This morning I saw a young man wearing a sagging pair of skinny jeans. (How is that even possible?) He his phone out and one of his ipod earbuds in his ear. He was wearing a chain connecting his wallet to his jeans.

He held the door for a young lady. She said, "Thank you." to him. He then stood there and held the door open for me as I was coming in from the other direction. I said, "Thank you, sweetie." He said, "You are welcome."

That got me to thinking - 98% of these kids are nice people. I went down the hall and asked a student if she had everything she needed - as she was in the hall before school without a pass. She said, "Yes ma'am. How are you?" I didn't know this student. She was a stranger to me.

When I tell people I teach high school they shudder and say, "Teenagers."

I teach AP kids and I also teach kids who are destined to say, "Do you want fries with that" for the next ten years or so. (Sometimes that is the AP kid too.) And I can say for the large majority of them...they are nice. They are ignorant about many things like how to write and who won the Civil War. They have no idea how much they are going to be able to purchase with their fresh from high school, or college salaries, that their fault?

When I am absent from school for more than a day, at least three students from each class ask me if my kids are all ok.

They are nice.

Teenagers have not changed that much since when we were teens. Their toys are just better and more expensive. It is a teenagers job to push the limit. It is our job to hold the limit. When we change the limit to make more things acceptable then what teens do to test that limit becomes more and more shocking. Is that their fault?

So if what teens do in this country is shocking to us is it because they are "different" from teens in the past or is it because as a country we have allowed what is "acceptable" to reach an unpleasant level? Is it because we have allowed our kids too much? Given them too much? Excused them too much? Can you make a kid's life "too easy?" I don't know.

But I often feel I need to defend these kids. Even while I am poking fun at their use of the phrase, "would of."

So what I want you to know is this.

They are nice.

It's Friday and since I am now a high school football widow I may have time to blog today,'s the hops.


  1. That's really good to hear. I'm glad they are all totally self-absorbed jerks.

  2. That is refreshing to hear. It's great to know to that there are teachers out there looking for the good in them rather than judging them and writing them off!
    Found you through New Friend Fridays at The Girl Creative

  3. Yeah! I think they're nice too! :)

  4. I'm following you from blog hops!
    I have to say for the most part young kids are good, it's the one or two that you just want to shake and say who are your parents!

  5. I've managed, by the grace of God, to raise nice ones and now we're on the north side of the teens. I've heard a saying (don't know where it comes from) to the effect of ... "What our parents abhorred, we tolerated, and our children embrace." I think there's a lot of truth there and I agree with your assertion that WE have created this generation ... the good AND the bad!

  6. Visting you from The Girl Creative. I like to think I've raised a good boy, that turned into a good teenager. I see how some teens are towards their parents and I am just amazed. I think, 'There is no way I would have EVER talked to my mother like that'.
    I just pray that my son continues to be a good kid. And I pray his little brother continues looking up to him, and wants to follow that path.


I always like to know someone is listening!