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Monday, December 9, 2013

How to Understand Teenagers

How to Understand Teenagers
A short post for the National Day to Reclaim Education

This was a discussion response I gave in a class that I am taking, and I just want each of you to understand what the average high school student is dealing with and WHY sometimes, it is really NOT their fault...

It's OURS.

While I think that we have always had stress in our lives, I do think that considering how we have created modern convieniences to help (no more needed hunting b/c of grocery store, no tribal invaders b/c of governments, etc.) that we've created an entirely new set of stressors that is ruining to the next generation.
Sorry, teacher rant coming on...
Dr. Bic's lecture really hit me. I've taught high school for 13 years and will be beginning my PhD in Education in the spring. During my time as a educator I have not only witnessed how we are ruining children by taking out the stressors in their life when they are young (how fast do MOST parents dash after their seven year old when they fall on the playground. Personal experience, when I yell 'You ok?' I have HAD other parents say nasty things to me) only to apply so much unnatural and unneeded stress when they reach high school. After they've had their hands held for YEARS in high school we ask the following:
  1. Take 7-8 classes a year, as hard as possible, knowing that AP & IB classes are set up like college classes with same workload (whereas in most colleges you would only take 4 at a time....this is TWICE AS MUCH). = 6 hours or so in school + 2 hours or so homework (I'm being VERY conservative here) so 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week.
  2. Hold a job. Otherwise you're leeching off of your parents. = 15-20 hours a week, but let's say 15 to be conservative.
  3. Play a sport. Now, since adults are so involved in college athletics on a financial level (and yes, I AM an educator, I am aware of the scholarships but I think we are losing focus). = 10 hours a week plus games, again, conservative, I only ran track in high school and helped with that coaching and it was more than this for TRACK.
  4. Do a club or something 'art' like. Trying to be conservative here, but my kid's godmother is the Band Director. They practice outside of class about 6-8 hours a week, but let's say 5.
  5. Community Service because all college applications say you need community service. Again, let's be conservative and say 1-2 hours a week.

So far we are at? 72 hours a week. 72!!! Now, to top it off young people are recommended to get 8-9 hours of sleep a night. Let's add that to it. We're at 128. Now, let's take into account meals, maybe 2 hours a day? We're at 142. Travel time, since most of these kids are not homeschooled and have to get to jobs. Let's say and hour a day, maybe 6 days a week. We're at 148. Getting dressed, showering, getting ready?? Another hour a day?? We're at 155.
155!!
That leaves young people only 13 hours a week to decompress! Let's not mention that in the AP/IB classes, the sports, the art activities, they MUST be #1 to get into college!! #1!! Add that pressure.
No wonder our kids are so messed up.
If this keeps up, we are going to create a generation that can't handle anything, if we haven't done so already. They're not taught any skills to deal with real problems and then we toss them into this disaster with no training.
*Sigh*
Maybe getting my PhD I can help to fix this insanity.
It's a nice thought anyways. 

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