I did -- and still do -- use slang and colloquialisms that I don't really understand. It's not like I do it intentionally...It just happens. For example, I wrote "I love spunk" in huge letters with marker across my binder in grade 10, thinking that "spunk" meant "smooth punk." I used to think that S&M meant "stupid & mean." I would say to people, "Stop being so S&M!"
So it's no surprise that teenagers still puzzle me. And since working in a high school, I've noticed a lot of things...
#1 - Kids Start Dating Only Days After Getting Their Molars
I was shocked when I first heard about kids discussing their previous ex-boyfriends. I'm sure each of these kids' relationships can totally beat each of mine in terms of length, frequency, and fulfillment (get your head out of the gutter, people!) What's worse is that while I was photocopying shit today, I overheard a bunch of kids talking about their sex lives.
I didn't even have my first kiss until I was 18. It was ridiculous, I was getting birthday cards that said, "Happy Birthday! Sweet
#2 - Kids Don't Like Justin Bieber
I thought that it was a universal thing that all kids like Justin Bieber?!? I was trying to be a cool teacher, and mention Justin Bieber in my lessons. Big mistake.
#3 - Bringing a Pencil & Piece of Paper to Class is Too Much Work
Seriously. Only 1/3 will bring a writing utensil, and maybe one will bring paper.
Here's a typical day:
"So class, today we will be--"
A student walks in late.
[To student]: "Have a seat. Here's what we're working on. Do you have a pencil?" Student shakes head, "no." I waste a minute, looking for a pencil. The other students start throwing junk food, spitballs, and insults at each other while I'm digging through drawers for a pencil.
"--As I was saying, today we will be looking at the various ways that --"
Another kid walks in and the cycle continues at least 5 more times.
I eventually walk around and observe the students' work. If I notice that the student hasn't done anything, I'll ask, "Why haven't you done anything yet?"
"My pencil isn't sharpened. I guess I can't do any work."
"That's not an excuse."
The student hands me the pencil.
"Fine, sharpen it for me, then."
"No, you have two fully functional legs. You can do it yourself."
"I don't want to. I guess I can't do any work, then."
"Why haven't you done any work then?"
The student shrugs.
"Do you need a pencil?"
"Why didn't you raise your hand when I asked at the beginning of class if anyone needed a pencil?"
"I didn't need one then."
#4 - Kids Throw Around Offensive Terms Like It's Casual Conversation
I don't know how many times I've heard, "Jimmy, stop being so gay!" or "You're such a fag" among other things that I don't need to repeat. I'm not sure what exactly is the proper way to deal with this -- I've tried explaining to them what the implications of using those words are, but considering these kids can't even write a paragraph unless I tell them exactly what to write, it's no use. I've tried getting really upset/angry when I hear them use these terms (because they truly do make me angry/upset) -- but then again, I've been told that, "The more angry you get with kids, the more likely the kids will repeat the action to see you get all riled up again."
Today, a kid handed me an assignment that had nothing completed. This student said, "I don't want to do it!" and I said, "Well, you can hand it in but I'll give you a zero." The student then proceeded with a "Fuck you!!" and stormed off.
Ah, how I love the young, innocent, delightful minds of the future.
#5 - Kids Don't Care if They go to the Principal's Office
Teachers don't give detentions these days, because they don't want to sacrifice their time. So, if a kid is bad, we send him/her to the principal's office. I'm sure the principal can get quite scary and threaten to call the student's parents, but a lot of parents don't really care about their kids, or are too busy to deal with it. Woohoo.
I'm definitely not having children. Not because I think they'd turn out like this (with a person as cool as me for a mom, I mean, c'mon!), but because I don't want them to be surrounded by this...