Background: I started “teaching” as a long-term substitute at a middle school, then worked on my credential while I taught 6th grade. Upon leaving there (being forced out of the nest), I went to an elementary school where I taught 4th and 5th grades (sometimes as a combo class). When the position I’m now in opened up, I immediately applied. It was my “dream” job of a self-contained 6th grade. It’s the best of both worlds from my perspective.
This leads to this week. I was at SB475 training. I might actually have the number wrong. It basically means Senate Bill (or Assembly Bill) and the number of it. Which means, the STATE expects you to attend 40 hours of training in your language arts program. For the uninitiated, 40 hours is a VERY LONG TIME to “examine” teaching materials. Too long, if you ask me. The trainer agreed, but that’s another post.
Basically what this week taught me is that a majority of middle school teachers are like their students — difficult, mouthy, overly opinionated with an equally high and unsubstantiated view of themselves, as well as somewhat lazy and toxic with bad attitude. On more than one occasion, upon being told that “kids just can’t do that”, I thought I was going to go non-linear and commence with the b*tch-slapping. I’m not sure, but I expect that such action would be heavily frowned upon.
Needless to say, they started to wax poetic about “what’s wrong with kids today”. Then, swear to God true life story, they went on and on about ELECTRONICS. Hyperbole aside, many of those complaining were nursing their favorite tech toy (generally from the iToy line) during the rant. Complaints were tossed around about how the kids don’t go outside and play, they can’t focus on long reading, they tend to spell via texting, etc. (Ironically enough, none saw a need for students to learn HOW penmanship because “that’s not going to be needed in the future.” Dolts.). Don’t even get them started on the violent video games and staying up all night just goofing off.
The morning after the whole “what’s wrong with kids today” discussion, one of the most vehement came in to share what she’d gotten her teenager for his/her birthday. Yes, folks, it was INDEED the latest iToy. I believe it was an iTouch. It’s interesting that “those kids” shouldn’t have these electronic tools, yet THEIR kids should. Of course it’s because the iPod anything SUCKS. I merely looked on with amusement. Who am I to judge? I wouldn’t spend the money, but then I’m cheap. I totally recognize that I’d own one in a heartbeat if it were $50.
One young gentleman, however, had the best response to hearing this dialog. He pointed out that people have ALWAYS said this about kids. Yet, kids have always managed to grow up and take part in society.
I think he’s right. The kids are alright.