A little while back, I wrote a post that listed 10 things that teachers needed to stop doing. It got a reasonable amount of attention, at least as far as education blogs go. I was entertained by a response that asked me to instead list 10 things Students needed to stop doing. I found the response defensive, since so much of that post was challenging to the traditional way to teach children. But yet, here I am, posting a response to that response.
Students in school, PLEASE STOP…
- Listening to your parents. Or should I say, listening blindly to your parents. Parents are not perfect. Some students only listen to the most destructive words from parents, and then disregard the best advice. Look for the best your parents have to offer, and ignore the stuff that goes against your principles.
- Listening to your teachers. At least, stop listening to everything. We make mistakes. We sometimes hold unreasonable grudges, and we sometimes stereotype. Take the information and the positive messages, and let the rest float away. While our words sometimes are just the right thing on the right day, we also say the dumbest things sometimes. Disregard these comments. Let no one interaction with a teacher ruin your day.
- Underselling yourself. We get it, you think you are stupid, worthless, a loser. We don’t unless you convince us of it. Trying to intentionally convince others you are as worthless as you fear you are, begins an endless cycle of bad feelings. Get help.
- Seeking negative attention. Find out who you really are and try to project that, and be ok with how people perceive it. Too often, students act intentionally bizarre, and then become offended when people see them as bizarre. It’s not because we don’t get you. It’s because we know it’s not you and we pity the sad attempt to draw attention to yourself.
- Destroying yourself to get back at someone. Failing math does not exact revenge on the math teacher any more than cutting your hair off gets back at your stylist. Blowing off practice to spite the coach, getting drunk to piss off your parents? If it’s you who really reaps the consequences, it isn’t revenge, it’s just stupid.
- Dwelling on the past. So what if you were a shitty student in 5th grade. You are a senior now. It doesn’t matter. People change all the time. They mature. Let it happen.
- Ignoring the future. Yes, I understand that we need to live for the moment. But chances are, you will have years and years to live. How will you live? The more fun and less work you enjoy now will create more of the opposite in later years. Fins a nice balance of living for today and planning for later.
- Being so angry. There are many legitimate injustices in the world, and none of them are on reality television. They are not in the school hallways and the internet. Drama caused by friends and media are worthless uses for your anger. Find a positive direction for your outrage, and you may just change the world. Get angry at cancer, poverty, or war, but not Jersey Shore.
- Ruining your body to emulate famous fashion trends. No one is supposed to be orange. Get out of the tanning booth and read a book instead. More wisdom, less skin cancer.
- Blaming others. If you need help, ask for it. If you don’t, then you can’t blame your school. Life is unfair, and that isn’t fun. But before assuming you are a victim of something or someone, adjust the mirror and ask if you did your part. Did you ask for help? Did you improvise? Did you put forth the best effort?