Posts Tagged ‘high school’

10 Things Parents Don’t Understand About Their Teenage Children

July 12, 2012

I just read a very perceptive and humerous piece by Sam Koppelman about how little parents understand their teenage children:

1. Parents just don’t understand that not all teens like Justin Bieber and One Direction.

Parents, sure a ton of teens are Beliebers and Directioners (just look at how many followers they have on Twitter!), but I can assure you, there are plenty of us who aren’t exactly happy about the fact that if Biebs were our boyfriend, he would never let us go. And there are many of us who would run away if we saw five British boys chasing after us on the beach. So, to all the parents who are thinking about what to get their teens for their birthdays, ask us before buying the new Justin Bieber perfume at Macy’s.

2. Parents just don’t understand that we know they weren’t perfect in high school, either.

Parents, when you get mad at us for staying out past our curfew and going out with our friends on the weekends, stop pretending you weren’t doing the same things when you were teens. We have all seen the hair you guys tried to pull off in the ’80s. And if those weren’t “out past your curfew” boots, then I don’t know what were.

3. Parents just don’t understand that they don’t need to apologize for cursing…

Parents, as nice as it is that you guys try to protect the innocence of our ears, you really don’t have to apologize for cursing. Believe us, we’ve heard curse words before. In fact, we need curse words to get us through bad test scores and annoying classes. So, when you forget I’m in the car and curse out the driver next to you for cutting into your lane, please don’t apologize. Thanks!

4. Parents just don’t understand that we’ve heard worse than Howard Stern.

Similarly, parents, you don’t have to change the channel on the radio or the TV whenever Howard Stern comes on the screen. Right when you leave the room, we can stream his radio show or watch America’s Got Talent on the computer. No need to be martyrs. We can all enjoy Howard together.

5. Parents just don’t understand that we don’t “Twitter.” We tweet.

Parents, you would never say that we should “books.” You would say that we should “read books.” So don’t tell us to stop “twittering.” If you are going to pester us about what we do on the Internet, at least use the correct verb and tell us to “stop tweeting.”

6. Parents just don’t understand why we would want to make our photos look “old.”

Parents, we get that you might be self-conscious about aging. That’s totally normal! But seriously, when we make photos look old on Instagram or Hypstamatic, we aren’t giving ourselves wrinkles and turning our hair gray. Aging photos and aging middle-aged parents are not the same thing. We make our photos black and white because old photos look cool. Unlike old people. Unless, of course, they are named Betty White.

7. Parents just don’t understand that a movie being rated “R” won’t prevent us from going to see it.

Seriously, parents, how do you think The Hangover did so well if no teens under the age of 18 lied about how old they were on Fandango to buy tickets? As much as we like acronyms (LOL, OMG, JK) we don’t really care about what the MPAA has to say about what movies we’re allowed to see.

8. Parents just don’t understand that we find it creepy when they give us the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.

Parents, we don’t need your endorsement to look at the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. We are just as weirded out by the prospect of you thinking that we would enjoy looking at those pictures as you are by the prospect of us enjoying looking at those pictures. So please keep the Sports Illustrated with Kate Upton on the cover wherever you keep the Sports Illustrated with Lebron on the cover. Thanks.
9. Parents just don’t understand that we know what going away to “celebrate their anniversary” means.

No explanation needed. Ew.

10. Parents just don’t understand that we honestly do love them.

No matter how annoying they are or how much they don’t understand, we know how much they love us. And we love them back.


The Classroom isn’t the Best Place to Rectreate Famous Movie Moments

June 2, 2012

Finding a humourous way to let an unruly student know that they have overstepped the mark can be quite effective. It lets them know that you are disappointed in them without a loss of anger or creating a big scene.

However, when attempting to use humour in this way, please follow the following rules:

1. Never humiliate the student;

2. Never humiliate the student; and

3. Never, ever, humiliate the student!

Public humiliation is a huge demotivator, and it really hurts the same child you are supposed to be nurturing.

When a teacher decided to communicate displeasure in a student by reprising a scene from the hit movie Bridesmaids, the teacher didn’t just manage to break all three rules, but also managed to add violence into the mix:

THE family of a California high school student has failed to see the funny side of a teacher imitating a scene from the hit comedy “Bridesmaids” and allegedly trying to slap some sense into the girl.

Dionne Evans, a ninth grade student at Malibu High School, alleges that when she forgot to bring her homework to class on May 22 she was called to the front of the room and the unnamed teacher asked, “Did you see Bridesmaids?”

The teacher then allegedly slapped the girl’s face up to six times, TMZ reported.

It is believed the teacher was referring to a scene in the 2011 movie where one woman literally tries to slap some sense into another.

Evans’ family have filed a complaint with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. A spokesperson for the sheriff’s Special Victims Unit confirmed to the Santa Monica Daily Press that they are investigating the incident.

The teacher has since written an apology to Evans but her family have hired an attorney and are reportedly considering a civil lawsuit against the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.

“My client has not been back to the class, she’s been doing her school work in the library,” attorney Donald Karpel told the Daily Press.

“She has been humiliated and devastated. She will be seeking counseling. It has been horrible.”

Bridesmaids, starring Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, centered on a series of misfortunes suffered by Wiig’s character after she is asked to serve as maid of honor for her best friend.

Some suggestions for other movies best left out of the classroom:

1. Fight Club

2. Bad Teacher

3. Kill Bill


Students Set-Up Their Teacher and Destroy Her Career

May 31, 2012

Just because young Julie Warning was framed for having a relationship with a student doesn’t in any way excuse her behaviour. It was extremely mean-spirited and heartless for Eric Arty and his friends to collect bets on who would successfully be the first to kiss her, but regardless, a great deal more is expected of teachers than to be involved personally with a student.

Over the course of the next few days there will be a lot written about Julie Warning, yet, possibly not enough criticism levelled at Eric Arty and his friends. Their role in this saga should not go unpunished. Their bet was quite shocking and should not be tolerated by the school hierarchy. They should be expelled for their little gambling venture.

Expelled? But they were just being kids?

They were exhibiting behaviour which was quite misogynistic, terribly destructive to a young woman’s reputation and career and downright immoral.

Keeping them at the school will not only give the school a bad name, but will turn these pranksters into heroes and celebrities among the student body. This is not an acceptable outcome.

A high school teacher filmed in a passionate embrace with a pupil fell victim to a $500 bet between five friends about who could kiss her first, it emerged today.

Eric Arty, 18, beat his friends to the jackpot after the student and four friends put in $100 for a race to romance their global studies teacher Julie Warning, 26.

Andrew Cabrera, a junior at Manhattan Theater Lab HS, where Warning worked until Tuesday, told the New York Post: ‘It was a bet with a group of his friends. They gave him the $500 [pot].’

Speaking about Arty’s seduction, he said: ‘He would go after class and basically try to seduce her.

‘I don’t know if she knew [about the bet]. They were all trying to get with her.

‘One of his [Arty’s] friends flirted with her more than anyone — I thought he would be the one, but Eric came out of nowhere and got her.’

The affair was revealed yesterday by The New York Post — which ran a front-page picture of the pair kissing on Friday at Bleecker Playground in Greenwich Village and published the video online.

The case has been turned over to the Department of Education Special Commissioner of Investigations and Warning was reassigned.

However, school officials said Warning did not report to her new job yesterday and could not be reached for comment.

Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said: ‘It’s my understanding that she did not show up to her reassignment center.

‘So we’ll do more investigating on why she hasn’t shown up.’

Maths Teachers Who Can’t Pass Maths

February 19, 2012

Sometimes I wonder how well Primary school maths teachers would go if they were forced to sit a basic skills maths examination. I fear many of them would stumble, especially in skills such as fractions.

How much worse it would be to have specialist maths teachers in the high school system with gaps in their maths knowledge. This may or may not be a reason for the inability for some teachers in getting the desired results from their students:

New Westminster parents are pressing their school district to investigate what they say is an exception-ally high failure rate over many years for high-school students enrolled in math classes taught by a particular teacher.

But they say the district has brushed aside their finding that three out of four students in those New Westminster secondary school math classes failed last semester. And recently, in response to their freedom-of-information request for math marks for all Grade 8-12 students in the school, the district told them they would be charged $1,385 to cover the cost of research and photocopying.

One of the parents, Lisa Chao, said she was shocked by the bill and highly doubts that much work is required to produce the information parents believe would back their contention that the teacher has been unsuccessful in teaching the lessons for many years. “This is information … they should have been gathering at the end of every semester,” she said in an interview. “It shouldn’t take more than three hours to print off.”

Parents deserve the right to information when they suspect that a teacher is letting down their children. Schools shouldn’t shy away from being open and transparent, because when they use tactics like the one referred to above, they look like a party to a major cover-up. I have no problems with schools supporting their teachers, but sometimes even the school needs to take an impartial view.
This teacher should be given every opportunity to defend the allegations. However, the doubts about his/her effectiveness seem valid and require a response.

Let Principals Breathalize Their Students

December 9, 2011

If your school is being effected by intoxicated students, why shouldn’t you be allowed to do something about it?

I am very passionate about the importance of firm but fair leadership, especially when it comes to cleaning up a school’s culture and environment. Coming to school drunk is completely unacceptable and should not be tolerated.

Whilst it is never ideal for a Principal to make his/her students take a  breathalizer test, doing nothing about the problem is far less ideal.

A high school principal in northern British Columbia has been asked to stop using a breathalyzer to test students in school for alcohol use.

A youth said that she and a friend were suspended from Fort St. James Secondary School last week after a blood alcohol screening test showed traces of alcohol.

Civil rights activists call the incident extraordinary and disturbing, but the Ministry of Education has no policy on the use of breathalyzers in public schools.

Kecia Alexis, a first nations student in Grade 11, said she and the other student were suspended after principal Ken Young confronted them when they arrived at school late after lunch.

Both agreed reluctantly to take the test after being threatened with suspension. Ms. Alexis, who said she hadn’t been drinking, said the device gave two “error” readings before she blew the lowest reading, a blood alcohol level of 0.01. (For drivers, the “warn” range for a blood alcohol level is 0.05 to 0.08, while a “fail” is over 0.08.)

Ms. Alexis said she argued with the findings, “but he said he doesn’t talk to students who are drunk. I said, ‘I’m not drunk.’”

She was given a three-day suspension. Despite high drop-out rates for first nations youth, Ms. Alexis returned this week determined to finish her schooling. She said she wants to be a teacher.

Civil rights activists can be a pain in the neck and this is a prime example of their constant interferences. When kids turn up to school and are suspected of being under the influence, it is surely the Principal’s right to do something about it. Breathalizing establishes that there is a problem and therefore fairly allows the Principal to metre out appropriate consequences.

It’s not as if a breathalizer test is invasive or painful. It’s not a blood test or vaccination – just a deep breath.

By not allowing Principals to effectively deal with the problem, civil rights activists are giving tacit approval to kids who decide to turn up to school under the influence. How is that a good thing?

Students Should be Treated Like People Not Numbers

December 6, 2011

I just read a piece too good to cut into excerpts. It’s written by Sheila French and is about the way she has learnt to approach parent-teacher conferences. She discusses the need to put grades and data to a side and instead, concentrate on talking about the child.

Below is the entire article. It is absolutely worth reading:

In elementary school Parent-Teacher Conferences come and go every year. This year I tried something new with the parents of my third graders at De Laveaga Elementary School. Rather than discussing test scores, grades and assessments I told the families I would like to talk about their child as a PERSON.

There’s no doubt about it, instruction in the kindergarten through high school is data driven. Our students have ID numbers, are assessed at least three times a year, and all of their data is kept on line. Our students are ranked anywhere from far below basic, basic, proficient to advanced.

But how are they as people? 

Are they able to work well with others?

Do they have the skills to make friends and create lasting relationships that will be needed throughout life?

Or our these children little turning into little robots who have “apps” for everything from studying their times tables to practicing for the SAT’s? Do these children of today need to memorize anything when they can run to their laptop and “Google” something?

I say there’s way too much emphasis put on test scores and grades. Let us step back and take a closer look at what our goals are as educators and parents. I don’t think I stand alone when I say that we would like to educate and parent children who have work-ethics, life skills and are well-rounded.

If you go to talk to your child’s teacher, go prepared to talk about your WHOLE child.  Go with a list (just like you’d go to the doctor), ready to ask questions about your child’s social behavior inside the classroom as well as outside on the playground. 

Before your parent-teacher conference, I suggest that you take the time to sit down and talk to your children. Ask them about their favorite classes. Where do they struggle? Do they have friends? Who are they? What do they do at recess? Of course these questions are not limited to pre-conference discussions. They are good conversations to have with your children on an on-going basis.

The playground is just as important as the classroom.

Chances are, the teacher will be more than happy to share some insight about your child as a whole person, not just another test score. Parents, take this opportunity to learn about your child from someone who cares about your child’s social, emotional and education development. This will ensure that our students become GOOD people even in this crazy data-driven world.

Ms. French has echoed many of the points I have made on this blog (although she writes more eloquently). She is absolutely right to point out that the playground is as important as the classroom.

I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I have.

%d bloggers like this: