I can go into detail about how these three things are manifested, but I'll save it for another post. Just know that before you say every generation gets worse, I'm here to tell you that that's what they all say - every generation before this one thinks the one behind is more spoiled, more entitled.
The truth is the generation before this class of 11-12 year olds also displayed aspects of these behaviors. And everyone before that did also, and since I've been teaching since 1989, I got cred on this one.
What makes behaviors and actions of entitied kids maddening lies in the subtleties. At the same time, it's also the in-your-face behaviors, and while the subtleties are often ones I can't always put my finger on, the blatant behaviors like
Assignment sheets, newsletters for parents, whole research organizers on the floor
Lost permission slips
Pencils, pens, sharpeners taken apart and broken
Notebooks stained, water-spilled, torn
just drain me visually and physically. Kids believe everything is replaceable and at their disposal. On the other side is what kids say and believe -
Sense of privacy for their families and friends?
Motivation or even an element of respect?
Yesterday a student stood behind me and smelled my hair, then exclaimed, "My mom needs your shampoo!" In response to a very clear and impersonal re-direction, another student just started dancing as I was talking - seriously, with direct eye contact too. And others asked multiple "what if" questions when reviewing a set of expectations for a field trip. Another kid told me the reason he wears his hat in class even though he knows he isn't supposed to is because I want to. Sheesh.
The worse though, was when a student asked for help and then as I was talking, she literally walked away - distracted by someone or something. I don't know.
That, I believe, although it's happened a hundred times before and required direct teaching of an undersocialized behavior (aka rude), was the tipping point. The point at which feeling used hit me at my center and the point at which I decided to treat myself to a hard workout in the weight room of my school, a piece of rhubarb pie, and a tickling session with my spirited daughter.
#livetoday #newday #teachrespect