Words For Teenagers

I was organizing my to do list pinteresting this morning and stumbled across an article that I read and immediately loved. And then reread and doubted my love. The article had great meaning but I questioned if it was too harsh to actually share with my students.

The article was actually written first in 1959.

In my classroom we are blunt honest, or at least I am and I push for it with the students, and if a student has a question I see no reason to overly sugarcoat the answer or avoid it all together. Middle schoolers pick up on the bs real quick.

I feel like I should add two things to this post. One, I teach career electives where my TEKS require me to teach career awareness, creating portfolio and fiances. So in a given day we discuss credit cards, salaries and college experiences. Two, our students are making adult choices: having babies, breaking the law, interacting with a probation officer and drug issues. I know that these are things happening everywhere and are not specific to any one school but I felt like I needed to add it in order to explain why I liked the article so much.

So if a student asks me the question "you know you had fun in college, partied all the time and joined a fraternity" I try to be blunt. College is a lot of work, you have to get a job, you have to pay to be in a fraternity, manage your own studying time, group work is done outside of class and no professor cares if you don't show up to a class or turn in work they have hundreds of other students. I like to call this my reality check. Many of our students learn about what life is going to be like through TV and movies, so I feel like I would be doing them a disservice if I didn't play a little devil's advocate.

On the flip side to all of that is that I want to motivate my students to make some sort of plan, set any sort of goal and encourage them to achieve it. I just throw some realism into their goals. I have heard both positive and negative comments about my classes as a whole: we are giving students a reality check vs. we are discouraging students from dreaming the impossible.

I of course disagree with the negative, shocking I am teaching the course, its not like we are taking a five year old and saying you will never be the president. But I am telling the student that wants to major in pyshcology, that that is an over populated major by almost 1000% or the student who wants to be a Marine Biologist that they will have to leave Austin. The reality is not every student is going to go to college and someone needs to be preparing them with some sort of soft skills or realistic view of the choices and decisions they are going to have make in careers and in life.

I have definitely babbled too long and I am now getting down off my soap box and I will spend a bit more time dwelling on the article until I decide if I want to use it as a journal activity with my students.

Tomorrow marks the one week mark until kiddo's are back, my to do list is 2+ pages long and we report into professional development at 8 tomorrow. It should be a fun week. Good luck to all teachers starting tomorrow!

The Babbling Box!

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