Prepare yourself. I'm in a ranting mood this evening.
When I was in spanish class the other day, we had a very interesting conversation concering the lack of motivation in our student body to do their schoolwork with a decent attitude...it ended up taking up most of the class period, and in several places it hit very close to home.
Normally, I'm a fairly good student; I have a decent attendance record, don't cut class, and try to keep up with my homework for the most part. Compared to much of my classmates, I'm one of the more attentive kids there, so I don't have a whole lot to worry about.
My spanish teacher is an incredible woman. She all but bends over backwards for her students, and does her best to make learning interesting, so we'll remember what we're taught. She has all the graphics, the tapes, games, and then some to help us out, and is even there most of the week after school to hold some tutoring sessions. I admire her a lot, and she reminds me of some of my favorite teachers from my last school. She mentioned to us at the beginning of our class about the topic concerning the students that had come up in the board meeting earlier that morning. Many of the teachers like her were wondering just why it was that they were seeing this lazy trend in their classes. They didn't understand why kids in their classrooms didn't seem to care about learning, and my teacher was wondering if it was something she was doing wrong that might have somehow brought it about.
Since she's from a foreign country (she was raised in Chile, South America), and had been raised in a much tighter situation, she just couldn't understand why she had students who just weren't interested in what she had to offer. So, she asked our class if there was something more she could do to make us want to learn more. Personally, I don't think she could do any more. I mean, she tries her hardest to keep everyone in class involved in the lesson, and even has set us up in groups so we don't have to feel isolated. Her questions shed a little light on a subject I've been wondering about for a while now.
I believe the problem isn't really about our home lives or any other similar excuses kids come up with. I think it's more that our approach to education is somewhat twisted nowadays. As science and technology advances, the curriculums become more and more advanced with it. And let's face it folks: America is one of the lazier countries when it comes down to it. The world's more developed regions are all competing, making their various populations learn more, absorb the information faster, and somehow stay on top of the totem pole. Japan, Europe, India, Russia, Germany...heck, American kids have got it easy compared to the insane schedules other countries keep for their schooling.
I think my generation is simply too spoiled to care. Nowadays it's all about who's wearing the latest fashions, talking the newest jibberish brought about by some new pop singer or rapper, and so on. As technology advances, kids are more worried about whether they have a cell phone, an ipod, or an xbox than how they're doing in their classes. Everything has all but been served up on a silver platter for us, and yet we dismiss it like it has nothing to do with our futures. Older generations are growing worried, and quite frankly I can't blame them. Today's teen population, the drug and alcohol abusers who think they've got the world in the palm of their hand, are the future of America. We're the ones who're gonna take over in the next 20 or 30 years, and the generations before us will have no real say in the decisions we make. Heck, I'm worried about the future of the US. If we don't start to straighten up, the States may not last to see another century.
And I'm not saying it's everyone that's to blame...for every hundred trouble makers, I'm sure there's a good group of kids who actually want to make something of themselves, and maybe even make a difference in the world. But I think there are serious problems in our school systems nowadays. I mean, I was watching a local news program they broadcast in school a few days ago, and the daily question for their viewers was whether or not they believed the Ten Commandments should be posted in schools. For crying out loud, it's the same rules that our very country was first founded on. Oh geeze, it's something from the Bible, it must be something related to Christianity. God forbid something like that be put into schools, it would be pushing religion on a diverse populace. (Can you hear the sarcasm? e.e These sorts of people annoy me.) I don't care what race or religion or whatever you are; the Ten Commandments are like common sense rules necessary to live peacefully amongst each other. Come on...I don't think it'd be so terrible to post things like "don't kill people, don't steal, and don't cheat" in the hallway. What would be so terrible about it? They're practically trying to drill that into our heads already.
*sigh* People nowadays are too worried what you can sue everyone else for, what the line is between Church and State, and things like whether gay marriages should be legal or not. I'm sick of it. We, as a people, seem to be a very shallow, superficial nation that has no business trying to settle the problems of the world around us, if this is what we're concerning ourselves with. I'm sick of it. Our priorities are warped, and I think it's about time we have a reform. In fact, I'm not surprised we've got a good bit of the rest of the world mad at us. There's a verse from Scripture that I'm reminded of in that sort of case...it more or less says that a man shouldn't try and solve someone else's problems when they still have even bigger issues on their own hands. It's like the blind leading the blind, a vicious cycle that won't end until we decide it's time for a change, and I'm hoping it'll start with this generation, the teens of today.
I'm not asking for a complete instantanious revolution here, just hoping for a simple change in perspectives. People in less-developed countries appreciate every last bit of good they can get, which includes learning. Must we be reduced to severe poverty and total loss of all our possessions in order for us to understand what we have? We have access to the internet, videos, textbooks...an endless amount of resources for us to use as tools for our education. But do we even acknowledge it? No. Instead it's entirely dismissed as an educational resource while we look for porn and other things that we morally should not concern ourselves with. It's a sad thing, when we don't appreciate what we have in such abundance, and I won't be surprised when a day comes that it's all taken away. It'll be an unfortunate loss, sure, but maybe it'll change our lives for the better, if nothing else will.
*sigh* I suppose this rant has gone on long enough for now...maybe I'll add more later if I find something I missed. For those of you troopers who read this thing, I commend and thank you, and hope that maybe it gave you a few thoughts of your own to consider. Comments are always welcome, and I'd enjoy hearing other people's opinions on this subject.