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neurological dryer lint

dirty deeds... and the dunderchief


i do this for my culture

steve posted a great question on his site, what to do with kids that don't listen, don't respect you, talk back, etc... he's facing a firing squad, it sounds like, over at glen este.

i'm split on this. especially since my wife is in his position, but has neither the potential to be loud, nor the vengeful, angry irish guns that he has.

it's not a hidden fact that i have a problem with authority. i don't like anyone telling me what to do. i have one boss, who happens to have created the planet i'm standing on. other than that, to quote han solo, "i take orders from just one person, sweetheart - me." i think a certain phenomena has mutated that started with our generation, or the one before it, and it is this: i will not give respect unless i feel i've gotten it. i felt, i'm a young adult, the rest of the world is already looking down on me, considering me a second class citizen, but i have a brain, i have the capability to reason, so i at least deserve some respect, i deserve not to be treated like i'm four years old. so to the teachers that treated me with respect, that acknowledged that i was a thinking human being and not some brainless pre-pubescent midget, i listened, i obeyed, etc.

diane parsons, larry borisch, they fell into this category. they knew that each student in their class was more than just a name and a seat and a line in their gradebook. they cared, wanted me to succeed, listened to what i said, honored feedback, etc. i loved their classes.

robin burbrink did not treat me with respect. mike beirne (sit don or get ot) did not treat me with respect. i gave them an opportunity, about a week or two - but past a certain threshold i no longer felt obliged to listen, obey, etc. anything they said because i didn't feel respect in return. they treated me inferior. it was intolerable.

there were plenty of teachers that were in between these two ends of the spectrum obviously. i would imagine steve, and most of the teachers i know (brian, ian, eric, courtney, etc) fall more on the "your opinion is valuable" side than the "kneel before ZOD" side.

let's get one thing straight, too. with the exception of my parents - i don't owe any adult respect simply because they're older - "respect your elders" is rhetorical nonsense, it's garbage, it's from a past generation, it's irrelevant.

with that said... i think that my issue with authority has amplified as the culture has changed in the last few decades. why? kids are smarter now, they have access to more information... marketing has fostered a "question reality" atmosphere... fewer kids accept what they are told without asking "why"... i think the last generation will call it being 'spolied' or whatever, which i don't buy... saying kids don't get challeneged, they have it so easy, blah blah blah... it's different than before, not easier...
regardless, the "if you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding!" mentality is fading with the last generation. kids feel entitled to more than they ever have before. so they resist. they need to understand the why more than ever. they've also been trained to see teachers as threats, as authoritarian monsters that want to punish and hurt them. steve was dead on: "I just don't know how to convince my students that I'm not out to get them or ruin their day."

what do you do? do you just go fascist and give them 75 detentions to keep them quiet? do you try to be their friend, reason with them, listen to them, explain things to them? do you try to make things more creative, more fun?

i didn't take any education classes. don't look at me for an answer :) what do you think? should we work harder to whip the little bastards in line? should we be more understanding and try to accomodate their needs? should we shove them into the educational box we were trained to see things in? is it even possible to work with kids as spoiled and arrogant as this? some of y'all are teachers. what do you do?


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