“Teenagers scare the living shit out of me.” My Chemical Romance.
It’s probably everywhere, but fuck, my students can be so entitled. And, while that’s hella annoying, it’s the know-it-all tendencies that exasperate me to no end.
They think they know they know everything, which gets very exhausting and frustrating when it’s how a school should be run. Or a classroom. Or an organization. Mind you half of these kids can’t even show up on time or get things done in a timely manner. AND that’s okay, they’re kids, they’re learning. What’s not okay, is that the parents have given them the confidence–no, arrogance; confidence is a positive word–to challenge, question, demand answers of authority.
Now, I’m hardly the teacher who’s all “Bow down to authority!” ” I’m an adult I know better.” “Age means you have to respect me and my authority!” But what’s going on is more than just that. Every new teacher is met with expectations from students and parents that they’ll continue on the way their predecessor had, as long as the predecessor was well received.
I had a conversation with my juniors today where I couldn’t bite my tongue. I started with, “Let me put this as nicely as possible…you bitch about every teacher you have, because you think you know what they need to do.” Now, if it were a legitimate concern addressed with respectful tone and approach it would be one thing. Telling a teacher “That’s not what XX did.” Isn’t going to be a valid anything, nor is it going to impact what the teacher does.
Teachers already have to answer to so many people: each other, administration, politicians, students (on the day to day basis) and ourselves. And, let’s be honest, we’re our own worst critics. My firm belief is that teachers are doing what they think is best for our students. Does that mean we don’t make the wrong choices? No, of course not. Contrary to popular belief teachers are human. We make mistakes, and the wrong choices, but I do believe they’re done with the best of intentions. We don’t walk into our classrooms and go, “What can I do today to fuck up my students lives?” That’s not the goal.
And, when I was in high school, I thought I knew everything too. BUT while I was super guilty of bitching to my friends about my frustrations about school, I sure as fuck never went to one of my teachers and was like, we need to do this this way instead. While I was a shithead, and I thought I knew everything, I never would have been so disrespectful as to tell an adult how to do their job.
I just wish that we-as parents and adults–realized what we are doing to our kids. The first time they go to a boss and say well that’s not how I did it at XX or bitch because they think they know better, they’re in for a rude awakening. We constantly mow everything down for our kids, setting them up for failure in the long term.
Parents: Back the fuck off. Let your kids fail. Teach them to respect that people in authority positions get to do things their way, and as long as it isn’t hurting them or detrimental, that’s their prerogative. Don’t let them think they’re in charge or that they’re always right. We’re literally raising kids that can’t handle failure because we tell them they’re never wrong, and never give them a chance to fail. In short, we’re fucking them up big time by trying to protect them.
Isn’t that fucked up?