In case this is the first Throwback Thursday post you're seeing, these are notes that I found from my YA lit class. I've set it up to work as a different kind of discussion post. It's acting as a lesson and a discussion post in one. I'll be sharing my notes, and reflecting on them. I'll also be asking what you think of each week's topic.
Last week, I told you to think about characteristics of high school students, so I hope you have a few handy to help you get through today's lesson. Now please keep in mind that I'll be sharing the list that my class as a whole came up with and my own personal list for this post, so please, please, please read before you comment.
Below, you'll find a list of characteristics of high school students and issues that they face, according to many of my YA Lit classmates. It's kind of shocking, especially when you consider that many of us in the class were in school for teaching degrees, and to be honest, I didn't and still don't agree with many of the items that were placed on the list. I have placed a check mark (✓) beside the characteristics and issues that I agree with, though.
The Average High School Student:
♢ Wants to be older ✓
♢ Concerned with self-image ✓
♢Less involved with after school activities than previous generations
♢ Faces a lot of peer pressure ✓
♢ Has no respect for others
♢ Is selfish
♢ Is materialistic ✓
♢ Is unmotivated or lazy
♢ Is in a specific clique ✓
♢ Wants instant gratification ✓
♢ Wants everything for free
♢ Is rude
♢ Is not self-reliant
♢ Is co-dependent ✓
♢ Is spoiled
♢ Wants freedom ✓
♢ Is rebellious
♢ Is overly confident ✓
♢ Is tech savvy ✓
Like I stated earlier, the list is shocking. I was dumbfounded during class this day because I couldn't believe how so many of my classmates thought so little of teenagers. Many of us where only a few years removed from being a teen. Did they think that little of themselves when they were in school? I don't know, but I still can't believe some of what made the class list.
Now I did put a check mark by a few qualities on the list. Let me explain...
I think it's pretty obvious that a lot of teenagers wish to be older. I know did when I was in high school. I wanted to get away from the immature people, and I wanted to explore a world that was bigger than my school district.
I also agree with the comment about teens, especially teenage girls, being concerned about their self-image. There is a lot of pressure on teens to look and act a certain way, and it's very stressful to them. It often distracts them from learning, and I find it disheartening that this is an issue all too common.
I know for a fact that kids face a lot of peer pressure, whether it be kids trying to pressure their friends to do something goofy or people trying to pressure others into something that they don't want to do. I hear it in the halls when I substitute. I see in happen in classrooms. It's an issue that will probably and sadly never go away.
I kind of agree with the stance on high school students being materialistic. I see a lot of kids with the latest and greatest things, whether it be a designer handbag or the coolest pair of sneakers. I feel like kids just have a need to have everything that society deems as cool.
I do think that kids are co-dependent, and I don't think it's a bad thing. Yes, learning to be self-reliant is a life skill, but so is being co-dependent. Many times, teachers will tell kids that they have to learn how to work well with others because they will need to do it in the workforce. I think a lot of today's teens have become used to working with others. Sometimes they don't work well together in the classroom environment, but I've seen a lot of kids solve problems together.
High school kids want freedom. I think this trait goes well with wanting to be older. As high school students get older, they start to taste that freedom. They look forward to life outside of high school.
I don't completely agree with the bullet point about teenagers being overly-confident, but I have met quite a few who are. It's just something that you see in every school.
Teenagers are very tech savvy. Today's high school students grew up with technology. Many of them have probably had a computer in their house since the day they were born, and I see so many of them with the latest cell phones and tablets. They understand how technology works, and they are not afraid to use it.
Now that I've shared the final list that my class came up with, I'd like to share what I came up with before we started our discussion and took notes. We only had a minute to do this...
♢ Is tech savvy
♢ Is more involved in the school community and community activities
♢ Is forgiving
♢ Is in need of freedom
♢ Faces peer pressure
♢ Faces a lot of pressure from Hollywood and society
Now it's up to you! I'd love to know what you think of today's high school students, especially if you are a high school student. After all, they are the ones who I think of when I post book reviews.
Do you agree with any of these items? Do you disagree with them? Sound off in the comments to let me know what you think.