Dear Granddaddy, my students are frustrating me. They’re very different today. Tim V. – veteran teacher.
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I hear you, Tim. I, too, am a concerned veteran teacher. I, too, have seen what looks like a changing student body over the last two decades of teaching. However, when I look a little closer, something startling comes to light for me.
Over the last twenty years, my students haven’t gotten older, but I have… Every September, when I stand in front of a new group of high schoolers, I’m always one year older than the year before, but the new students are not
We believe students have changed, but, we have, too. We former young, good looking, and passionate teachers are now older veteran teachers with raspy voices and sore throats. We don’t quite understand pop culture anymore. We don’t know the lyrics or even recognize the songs anymore… and we’re not so sure we want to. Nor do we care for the reality stars, who have accomplished little, and have done nothing to become famous.
We’ve all changed, but that shouldn’t stop us from helping each other out. Over the years, the most important way I have found to successfully help our next generation is to form positive relationships with them. Yes, this is harder now because the age gap has grown wider, and students look and act differently than previous generations. But it’s also more important now than ever before.
In conclusion, Tim, students are different today. But so are we. Time didn’t stand still for us; it didn’t let us stay twenty-three years old, and our students don’t still listen to Led Zeppelin any more. Relationships are the answer to educating our youth. Good relationships have always been the answer, and always will be the answer, no matter how much time changes us all. Tim, I don’t know how many years you have left in the field of education, but whatever that number may be, enjoy them, and your relationships with your students. Before you know it, more years will pass and it will be over. Then we’ll miss it.
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Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker, and educator who has appeared on over 100 television and radio shows. To find out more about Dan or to submit a question to him, please visit him on his website at: www.GranddaddysSecrets.com.