Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I'm mad as hell... and I'm not gonna take it anymore...

These are the questions that plague me as I stagger to the end of the year;
  • A) Why do students feel a sense of entitlement about life?
  • B) Why is it so hard for students to assume responsibility for things they have done wrong... even when there is overwhelming evidence that they have done something wrong?
  • C) Why is conflict resolution so difficult for students to master?
I have a theory about this actually. I think that some students are scared for the next step in their journey and they don't feel ready to be adults. That is a bummer. Graduation and all that comes after it is the big adventure. It is hard to embrace that. Sheeeewt, I was gonna go to the University of Oregon until I realized that I would actually have to leave Colorado to do it. I remember being scared, and I think in some ways I still am scared of the next chapter. But these students seem ambivalent to the outcome of their choices. I knew that I would find my way eventually, but what do these students see in their future? Do they see the hope of a job that utilizes their prime talents and skills? Do they see the ability to own a home and have health insurance? Do they see love, family, happiness?

This is a lot of question-y stuff. This has been a tough day and I am just mostly venting and trying to find an answer to something that may not be answerable. But I am really tired of not asking the big questions. I think I have become complacent to the smoldering issues because I am too tired to fight the fire. Let it burn itself out. OR--do I start seeking out ways to make things fireproof?

Gah... big questions that mostly stem from anger... good or bad thing?? :-)


Dan Magyar said...

Our society is responsible for its childrens' sense of entitlement. Students know that they are a priveledged class of citizen; all rights and limited or no responsibility. We legislate and hold teachers responsible for student learning but not the students themselves. President Roosevelt's "Freedom from Want" taken out of context can mean "If I want a yacht, society is supposed to see to it that I have one." In our effort to protect our children we are depriving them of the strength to stand up for themselves.

Kara Gustavson said...

I'm horrified when I see the entitlement of Cole, other people's kids, or students I work with. But what about the sense of entitlement that we - adults, Americans, Christians, humans - have? I think of all the things I feel like I deserve in this life. They might be good and noble things, but if I don't get them, I go into despair or throw a grown-up tantrum. I usually feel justified in my response, but it's no different than what I see in our society's kids.

I see the same thing in adult conflict resolution... lawsuits, murders, division, justified grudges and resentments. We have no ability or authority to train our kids and students in what we don't practice. I guess I see it all starting with our own hearts. When we get that straight, we can reach out and lead kids into what's good and right. Not that they'll all be able to receive truth or follow our lead, but we're only responsible for doing our part.

Love you and your honesty Sarah! You are very refreshing : )

Matt Reichenbach said...

The ripples from our ancestors, the work they put in to build an enviable America, have turned into swells of entitlement that are so convenient to ride...

Anonymous said...

They are I-Gen, and it can be summed up by a song most of them have been singing since preschool:


(Sung to the tune of Frere Jacques)

I am special, I am special (point to self)
If you look, you will see
Someone very special, someone very special,
It is me, it is me!! (Point to self)


Confidence is great, but it's not all about "me." Unfortunately, we have raised them to believe it is!