Three 20-something women trying to figure out what it means to be lay, Catholic, and modern all at once.

October 26, 2009

Thou Shall Not Whine

I have a sign in my classroom that reads like the title of this post: Thou Shall Not Whine. I tell my students that it's the 11th commendment, and if the Passover Plague didn't work, God was prepared to smite the Israelites for their whining. Certainly sarcastic. But there is a little truth to my remarks, nonetheless.

I teach the products of Generation Whine. My students are bold with requests, find no problem complaining about assignments to my face, and find it perfectly acceptable to challenge the established classroom rules.

However, what I find to be most frustrating and most disturbing is that much of their behavior is not only not stopped, but encouraged, by their parents. Parents frequently email me providing far-fetched excuses for their child's tardiness with assignments or putting the blame on me when students fail to meet expectations. Students are even encouraged by guardians and people in authority to take "mental health days" when the weeks get too stressful.

Whatever happened to buckling down, doing your assignment, and having integrity if in the rare case you missed a deadline? Whatever happened to respecting your teacher so much that you feared having to explain yourself if you did something outside of the classroom norms? Whatever happened to good old-fashioned hard work and learning to take initiative?

Sorry for the rant, but I'm finding it hard to motivate students who have no motivation within themselves and no one pushing them at home. How are we to turn Generation Whine into Generation Fine?


Grace in my Heart said...

Great post...I find these same things occurring in the elementary level as well. I think the reason is that kids are spoiled nowadays. That is the only thing I can think of... Kids seem to get whatever they want when they want it. Sadly. I'd love suggestions on this topic too!

Lee & Kelly said...

I have no good suggestions at the moment (it's a little to late to think straight), but I was telling your goddaughter's three-year-old sister that we might have to get one of these signs today... and then here's a whole post about it :)

Julian said...

The good thing is that you are both around children where this behavior might still be able to be nipped in the bud :) Once they get passed to me by age 15, it's a little too late. I'm going prematurely gray...

Grace, I find it difficult to discipline other people's children, don't you?

Carry on, ladies!

Angela Miceli said...

It does not get much better when they are in college, but by then, you don't have to deal with their parents and you can at least appeal to them rationally. Mostly, I find that if you just confront them one on one -- they usually see the light. But parents are an entirely different story!!

Lee & Kelly said...

I was thinking about this more today (while vacuuming and wishing I could whine :) and wanted to just come back and encourage you to try to keep the hope that these girls can change. I certainly wouldn't have whined to my teachers in high school, but I still whined a lot to my parents (and in my head, from what I can recall). I think it's almost intrinsic to being a teenage girl. Not to say that it's acceptable, but don't think that it's too late to make any difference b/c I'm sure that it's not! Remember that you're planting seeds that may not flower for months or years for results that you may never know of this side of Heaven!

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