Monday, October 15, 2012

Teenagers See it This Way

When I showed the short film, "The Girl Who Hated Books," I didn't expect the tangent I got.  Interested in student voice - an actual professional goal of mine this year, I let the discussion drift from my learning objective to something that turned into this free-flow conversation among the students in my literacy class.

Originally, I thought I'd show the film so we could analyze aspects of independent films.   Little did I expect that the analysis would target a socio-emotional part of the film rather than the art, animation, and purpose.  The thing that stood out to one student ended up resonating for a few more, then a few more, and before I knew it, students were in groups writing down the things parents do that annoy them.

We got there because the students agreed that the reason the main character, Meena, hated books was because her parents' intense affinity for books and reading, was at the expense of giving attention to Meena.  You'll have to watch the film yourself to determine why my students felt this way.

The Girl Who Hated Books by Jo Meuris, National Film Board of Canada

So in the spirit of student voice, here is how they expressed the part of the film that spoke to them most.  Teenage brains work in interesting ways.  Here's what you get.

Top things parents do that confuse or annoy their kid:

1.  They don't listen to our words, just to the way we say something.
2.  Make us get the thing they are capable of getting themselves (a drink of water, for example).
3.  Ask us the same question twice before we can even think of a response to it the first time.
4.  Ask too many "thin" questions.
5.  Wants us to do 4 things at once.
6.  They want us to be independent but then are overprotective.
7.  Getting a sermon after asking a simple question.
8.  When parents think we are texting the opposite sex when we don't even want a boy or girlfriend.
9.  When parents fight and bring their kid into it and then we feel blamed for their fight.
10.  When they say you're too young for this or too old for that (going Trick-or-treating, wearing a costume . . . ) but in our mind, we are just kids.
11. Parents can't be wrong even though they tell us to learn from their mistakes.
12.  We fight.  Two minutes later they say, "I love you," and are surprised when they don't get the same thing back.  We take long to forgive.
13.  Using big words to make a point.
14.  Quick mood changes.
15.  When they talk to my friends.  Seriously, my friends don't know what to say back.

1 comment:

  1. That last point is interesting, perhaps a phenomenon unique to this generation. The cell phone (my favorite piece of technology for so many reasons, so don't think I'm against technology)... anyway, the cell phone made it so how parents don't have a chance to get to know their kids' friends. Used to be we kids talked on the phone as much as kids today like to communicate, but when we called our friends we'd often have a short conversation with our friend's parent or sibling -- everybody got to know everybody else on some level even if fairly casual and superficial. Generations learned how to make small talk with each other. Now, like your student said "Seriously, my friends don't know what to say back".