Thursday, July 20, 2006


Are today's students the most caterd to generation? A Boston Globe article reports that they are.
I believe that today's students do not have near the capacity to make their own choices or fight their own battles as my generation (those born in the late 70's. ) But, I suspect that those born in the late 60's might say the same about my generation.
However, as a teacher, I can't help but be annoyed by the increasing number of students who do not have the skills to communicate for themselves. The number of parents fighting battles for their children amazes me. Even simple issues that could be resolved quickly if the student just came to me, become bigger issues because parents want to "protect" their children. As if this protection amounts to helping their child.
In the long run, students who never have to handle their own problems never learn how to do so efficiently. What happens is the student doesn't ever develop the necessary skill to solve problems, or think for themselves. It is no wonder that our country has become polarized. Today's generation of parents have brought about a situation that, frankly, I am bothered by.

I can go to the world of athletics to best make my point. Today, if a student athlete doesn't get playing time, or the players just aren't good enough, the coach is fired. Student athletes, as in pro sports, can dictate how the program is run--actually, parents can.
But for me, and again, I only have my experiences to draw from, that was not the case. I clearly recall sitting in the dugout of Brookside Park's Little League Field. I felt that I should have been starting the game at shortstop, as I had the previous year. The coach felt differently. My father showed up, and as he walked past the dugout, I whined about not starting. I kept whining as he stopped at the fence. His response: "I don't want to hear it. If you don't like the coach's decision, don't play baseball. " That was it. No "We'll talk to the coach," nothing. Just deal with it.
I believe I am a better person for it.


At 7:52 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 8:03 AM , Blogger Jessie said...

Great points! I totally agree with this. Many times I've dealt with parent emails, phone calls, and conferences where the situation could have been easily resolved if the student had just come to speak with me. My parents forced me to deal with my own problems and I, too, am a better person because of it.

At 12:18 PM , Blogger HappyChyck said...

Great post! I wait until the last possible moment to bring the parents in. Sometimes it would be more helpful to me if I'd bring in the parents sooner, but I like to push the students to solve their own problems. Most student issues are related to attitude, so it's only the studens who can change that.

At 4:24 AM , Blogger Dennis Fermoyle said...

Mr. McNamar, your father sounds like the father of Herb Brooks, the coach of the "Miracle" 1980 Olympic hockey team. It's a well known story that Brooks was the last player cut from the 1960 Olympic hockey team, the only other one to win a gold medal. When they beat the Russians that year, Brooks' father turned to him and said, "It looks like the coach cut the right guy." Ah, for parents of the good old days!

At 9:51 AM , Blogger Mr. McNamar said...

The beauty of both your example and mine is that the truth was told. I don't want to even know what my life would be like today had my parents not been truthful with me or handled my issues for me.
I absolutely know that I wouldn't be where I am today--and I can't complain about where I am or what I have achieved.

At 11:40 AM , Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

I've pondered whether kids' inability to think for themselves or take care of even small concerns is because they spend so little time in unsupervised play. I disappeared for hours at a time during childhood. If some problem came up, we usually solved it ourselves. No way could you do that today.

We went to sports practice by ourselves- now parents are made to feel as if they are abandoning their children if they do this.

Just two examples. But I wonder....

At 6:23 AM , Blogger Thespis said...

I tried to ping this article!

Great Commnets.


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