Today, many of our students are defiant, profane, and apathetic. This is the “time out” generation where everyone gets a ribbon for participation, a 70 for showing up, and diploma just for waiting out the system. That has directly impact the culture of our students.
First, effort has left many of our students. Many of our kids either don’t try or give up when the work is tough. You see it in the classroom, but you also see it reflected on our fields and courts. Student-Athletes show up to games and expect to play despite not having been to practice all week.
Second, disrespect is running rampant. Students curse at, push, and even hit teachers and each other more than in the past. The changes in discipline in the schools and at home is very different. Am I saying hit kids? Absolutely not. What I am saying is that there needs to be firm and consistent consequences for students and support for teachers from administrators, which seems to be evaporating these days.
Third, our students are of a lower quality upon graduation than they used to be. Passing kids along and forcing teachers to only fail a certain percentage has made our students entitled and illiterate. When the average reading level of graduating seniors is 5th or 6th grade, education is in trouble.
What can we do? Tightening our educational belt and making some difficult decisions is the only way. Education should always be there for everyone when they are ready, but I think we need to stop forcing students who don’t want to be there together with kids who are there prepared and open to learning.