Tuesday 23 September 2014

Signs of the times or mere carelessness

Every teacher I come across (I should say colleagues, I suppose) laments on how most of today's students are completely oblivious to their roles and responsibilities. And if one gets carried away, it is not quite difficult to agree with my fellow teachers. There is a strong sense of I-care-a-hoot attitude in most students of the present generation. This predicament often leads me to think of my student days and whether our teachers also shared the same feeling that we were oblivious to our duties. I like to think that we were naughty and quite the rebels but never careless about our responsibilities. I can also support this statement with examples of some of my own students. There are quite a handful of naughty and mischievous students who are also quite careful about their duties and responsibilities. I still vividly remember my classmates and batchmates - Of course, there were the usual boyfriend-girlfriend issues, not completing homework, late coming and many such common issues but not many students showed a bashful and aggressive attitude towards teachers. It baffles me to just see some students who are completely devoid of common sense, good manners and some social responsibility but I am also quick to add that not all students are like this.

I can relate when my colleagues seem quite miffed by the general behaviour of the majority of the students these days. Do we blame their parents, internet, or just dismiss their attitude as that of the times. But why are the times feeding a bashful and I-don't-care attitude? Is it the short attention span or the mindless thinking that one is empowered and hence can act in a certain way? The information technology, I reckon, has fed people with so much information without any support system that one tends to think that one is wise and intelligent. Humility was still a virtue when I was in College and it still is in some quarters. Can we dismiss behaviour of this kind as signs of the time?

I am thinking and wondering about the handful of students who still remind me of my days as a student. When a handful can retain some 'old-school' traits, why not the rest. As a teacher, I feel responsible for this kind of behaviour and at times feel quite powerless as well. Maybe teachers who have been there and done that can answer me. And, that does not mean I am new to this. I have been in the field for quite some time but still my queries remain unanswered and incomplete.

Dear reader, pray tell me what are your thoughts on this.


  1. As I recall (since I WAS there--grin!) the teachers in ancient Greece had the same questions, which are asked today, concerning the young, the students.
    And even now from you, Susan Deborah, I read the answers are still elusive.

    Does it not seem sometimes that the pendulum swings both ways, if ever so slowly? ALWAYS glad to "see" you, my friend.

  2. Can it be - students of your generation (when you were a student) were more mischievous than students of your teacher's generation (when they were a student), comparatively, and that is continuing?

    Destination Infinity

  3. Your post made me think of a quote by Seneca, in which he rants about youth, their irresponsible ways, etc... He said the same things we still say today about our youth and he lived in the 6th century b.c. Funny huh? I tried to find it but couldn't.
    I understand your concerns and legitimate observations, but hopefully they'll be ok and gow up to be responsible contributors to society. Tka care Susan.

  4. I remember a few teachers (just a handful) who were real "teachers" I don't even recollect their names but the good deeds that they did as a teacher is always etched in my mind.
    Agree on that about some students without any common-sense, in fact there are a few adults too that I have faced at my workplace.

  5. I think each generation comes with its own attitudes, bias and aspirations. The kids today live in a different world than that in which we lived, have more exposure and more freedoms. The way I for example see my kids boldly talking to adults is in stark contrast to our days were kids were not supposed to question or talk to their elders...



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