Young people are not exactly in a mindset to #thrive in school.
The following list is not a scientific study, they are just my classroom observations.
A significant number is basically too exhausted to perform.
I do not blame them, they are children of their time. And their parents are all too busy making ends meet to have a ‘hands on’ kind of environment at home.
- They are severely sleep deprived, they often sleep 5 hours or less
- They go through sugar crashes and get into slumps from all the sugar and lemonade they consume. Not to mention the caffeine
- They are constantly drawn to their phones
- What happens on internet is a lot flashier than what goes on in front of them in a typical classroom
- Their attention span is used to smoothly edited video content where the images jump every 3 seconds
- They are used to video content and picture that capture one essential thought, they click through this feverishly
- Details are too tiresome
- If it can be googled, there is no need to know it
- They do not get enough exercise. They have the bobbing knees syndrome. Running for at least half an hour a day at a spirited pace would help their mind to focus
- The thought of having a test later in the day distracts them from the present, usually because they didn’t prepare for the test at home (if you were a teenager right now, you wouldn’t either, internet is FULL of far more interesting stuff!!)
- They do not know what it means to study something systematically. This makes them lose a lot of time, it makes studying also very tedious. There is a very low return on investment. They feel they spend quite a bit of time studying, but that is just staring back and forth between the page and the phone to them
- They have no system to file things, their bags are a mess, some just shove papers in their with the rest, like they are strapping a thrash bin to their backs
- They spend most of their time consuming entertainment. Some of it is sophisticated entertainment, but it is still entertainment of course
- They habitually overestimate their ability to memorize things just by looking at them
- They do not see the point of what they are being taught in school and they may be right, there is a good chance that a lot of what they are expected to do in school will not really serve them or anyone else later in life
- They are simply not fully present UNLESS you can entertain them AND teach them at the same time. Tricky business. It takes a lot more effort on the part of the teacher, but it is a lot more fun and rewarding, but at the same time you are confirming a trend, namely that everything has to be entertaining
- A suprisingly large number is drunk or stoned during the weekend. Alcohol is used as a sedative in Slovakia to suppress the pain of unfulfilled desires, and marihuana is really booming around here, it is very trendy to smoke it right now.
- They were never encouraged to take real initiative, they have been conditioned to expect all the learning tools to come from the teacher. Whereas in their spare time this is the most advanced generation in finding out the answers to a lot of questions they have, they inexplicably lose this valuable ability when it is school related. Again because they are not motivated enough, but also because they do not realize their own power over their learning ability. These people have been forcefed education, they have not been helped to come to love learning.
On the bright side, whereas they do not have the habits, nor the cultural environment, to thrive in school, they do thrive in other areas.
- They are surprisingly liberal
- They are tolerant [Yesterday one of my students announced that he was bisexual to the entire group, and this in a conservative country, and nobody said anything about it]
- They have very little knowledge to win any kind of quiz, but they have some insight in how business, marketing, video, internet applications work. In a way they understand things, without knowing them. For example, they cannot name you any name of any famous general, but they understand why we still have wars.
- They are almost flawlessly intuitive, they immediately smell if you genuinely care about them or not
- They can locate and buy the cheapest products online and have them delivered to their doorstep
- Some of them know how to make money online
- They are incredibly flexible. They are as chaotic as they are flexible
- They have a lot less fear of public speaking than any previous generation, perhaps, but this is guesswork, because we live in an age where everyone, especially young people, is broadcasting himself or herself to the entire world
- Perhaps because they consume so many entertainment they are often imaginative and funny
- They cannot be shocked
- They hate violence [Question, is this attitude somehow also linked to the popularity of weed?]
- They hate arrogance and big egos
- They treat you with respect if you treat them with respect
Are they thriving?
Not in any academic sense, no. They are getting by, and most are getting by easily. They have MASTERED the art of getting by.
As human beings?
It does not look that bad.
If they drank a little less booze and got a little bit more sleep.
Exercised a bit more, and gorged themselves on newsfeeds a bit less.
They would never cause a war, but unfortunately you could still push them to march into one against their will, they have soaked up enough conformity and unquestioning obedience already. When they rebel they do not really rebel, they just pose. But hey, focus on the bright side, this is essentially a non-violent generation.
They usually do not rally around a cause, but they are nice individuals, and maybe that is ok. History tells of many horrific experiments where well meaning masses rallied round lofty causes.
This is a kind, sharing sort of generation.
They will not have the attention span to read through a blog post this size, but they are a kind, sharing sort of generation.