Thursday, December 3, 2009

Substitute Thoughts

Contrary to the title of this post, I was not thinking about one thing, and then start thinking about something completely different. In fact, I was thinking about several similar things all at once. I am currently working during the day as a substitute teacher. Because of this, I see more different students in the course of the week than most other teachers. I also have, because of the nature of being a sub, more time with nothing to do than even the students have. As a result, I spend much of my day observing and listening to the students. It is very interesting what the students will tell each other when they think no one else is listening.

"I can't believe how drunk I got. I totally passed out, and didn't remember anything until I woke up in the hospital."

"Yeah, I got a ticket for underage drinking, but I'm gonna fight it, 'cause my Dad gave me the beer, and he was driving."

"No, I'm not pregnant. So I dodged another one."

"I beat the ____ out of her! She totally deserved it. She was talking ___ about me."

I could go on, but it gets very redundant. Underage drinking, casual sex, violence, lawbreaking, cheating, fighting, drug use. Name it. The scariest part of all of it is the attitude. Nothing matters, so do whatever you want. One person even suggested that the perfect retirement plan is to rob a bank with a gun. You'll go to jail where they will provide food, shelter, health care, etc. all for free. Besides, I don't need school, I can make more money in a day on the corner selling than most teacher's make in a year.

Where did we go wrong? Not too long ago in America people were ashamed when they did something wrong, or something that would embarrass their family. Not any more. In fact, many of the kids think their parents deserve it for trying to stop them from doing what they want to do. We live in the "me" generation of disposable things. Disposable razors, disposable cars, disposable marriages. If it doesn't work, throw it away.

This school, along with others, is trying to change those attitudes. They have a new program trying to build respect, responsibility, and honesty. They say it is working. I hope it is. I worry that it's not.

Take Care. Keep Hoping. Stick.


Delirious said...

I think the problem is that "the love of men" has "waxed cold", and people don't care about their fellow man. They don't care if they rob them, or abuse them, or kill them while drunk driving. They don't care if a girlfriend gets pregnant, or if they abort that pregnancy. They don't respect and love their neighbor, and I don't believe they respect and love themselves either.

Dee Ice Hole said...

It will be an uphill battle there because teh community has been on the down slide for many many years....maybe since establishment. It's a tough part of the world.

Inklings said...

Ihave had those same thoughts, actually, and it's pretty sad.

Mr. Giggles said...

As long as we live in a country where a president can commit adultery IN THE OVAL OFFICE and BE RE-ELECTED, or where a president can refuse to submit evidence of his right to assume office, how can we expect kids to raise their own morality bars? I, too, was a sub and heard talk from kids. I hear it now as a teacher. I report it to my principal and try to move on. I worry about these kids. But they aren't worried about themselves, so it is hard to make any changes!

Theresa Milstein said...

I've subbed at the high school in Cambridge, MA, and I'm happy to report that I haven't heard many comments like that. Let's hope that some of those students were trying to show off to friends, and that they're the exceptions to the rule.

I blog about my sub experiences: