Beans & Rice for the Soul

teaching, learning and living around the world

Ranting about the “These kids” rants.

I can’t even count the number of times I’ve been nauseated by a “these kids” rant.
The “these kids” rants are the same in every language, in every country I’ve taught in.
Here is how they are usually constructed.
1. Teacher takes a tone of:

exasperation
disgust
shock
annoyance
or worst of all
defeat

2. Says something like:

These kids just won’t…
These kids don’t even know…
These kids can barely even…
or worst of all
These kids just can’t…

insert some subject or skill here.

3. Teacher then raises eyebrows and uses hand gestures while blaming:

last year’s teacher
bad curriculum
standardized tests
politicians
the “system”
the kid’s parents
or worst of all
the kid

4. Teacher closes with a huff.

Oh man, and when I hear this lasssst defeated huff, I really start to feel sick.
My temperature actually rises and I feel a combination of fever and nausea.
Honestly, it is difficult to describe how the “these kids” rants twist me into a fit of internal rage.
I usually don’t say much out loud.  On the outside I appear calm, polite and professional.
But inside my head I’m screaming,

Just TEACH it!

If they can’t do it yet, then TEACH IT.
If they don’t do it on their own, then TEACH THEM HOW.
If you keep telling them, and they don’t listen, then stop telling and start TEACHING.
And if you don’t know how to teach it, then JUST SAY SO AND ASK FOR HELP!!!!!!

Stop blaming everybody else because it only makes you look foolish.
You say: these kids can’t learn it.
I hear: you don’t know how to teach it.

Kids are failing to learn it because you are failing to teach it.
I just don’t know how to see this any other way.

You are a teacher.
Feel empowered!!
If your kids aren’t learning something, youuuuuu need to find a more effective way of teaching it.
You you you you you you YOU!

NOT “these kids,”
YOU!

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5 comments on “Ranting about the “These kids” rants.

  1. Lonnie Rich (dad)
    June 5, 2013

    Nothing better than a rant about the rant. You go, girl. Now did you finish your rant with a “huff” or a “so BAM.”

  2. Ms. Rich
    June 5, 2013

    hahaha NEITHER! I did the three snaps zig zag.

  3. Sally
    June 5, 2013

    Love this!

  4. Tim Z Falconer
    June 6, 2013

    Sarah, thank you so much for this article. Have you seen the youtube video that’s gone viral with the long-haired teen telling his teacher about the same thing? I have spent some time teaching, and I have to add my own little mantra: “hand-over-hand is ok!” – when working with small kids or kids with disabilities, or even an average kid who just needs a little extra help, go hands-on! If, by placing your hand on a child’s hand you can give him or her a little confidence, go for it. I had to get over this, so much is made of independence; but when someone needs help, the teacher should be there , to the maximum extent that they can. Oh, I’m just getting started now! Thanks again- what a great piece! 🙂

  5. stephanie wintjes
    June 10, 2013

    Sara, You are a visionary, a romantic idealist. I love it! My response is a deep intense look at my battle-scarred self!

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This entry was posted on June 5, 2013 by in teaching.
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