The Wawascene was created by Dr. Mark Stock, former Superintendent of the Wawasee Community School Corporation. Due to its local popularity, Dr. Stock has left the blog site to future Wawasee administrators.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Kids gone wild - Yes or No?

The NY Times poses the question, "Are kids today ruder and less civilized than in the past?"

I am not so sure it's that simple although from their surveys it sounds like most Americans think so.

I grew up in a large suburban high school near Dayton, Ohio in the 70's. There were 637 students in my senior class and their reputation wasn't good. Drugs and vandalism were rampant and police busts for drugs was a weekly occurrence. Students were apathetic and school spirit did not exist. Disrespectful and rude behavior to teachers was common.

We moved here to raise our families and enjoy the benefits of our county.

In terms of general politeness, when I walk the halls of our schools today, I see students that regularly make eye contact and smile. Many say "Hi," and a surprising number of them say, "Hi Dr. Stock." (Usually followed by, "How come you didn't call a snow delay today?" This year a small group of students even told me they were going to rent giant fog machines to put outside my house! There you go Tyler Wear - I told you I would use your name. LOL)

When I was in school I didn't even know that a school had a superintendent much less what his name was. Even if I did, I wouldn't have felt welcome to smile at them and address them by name.

In the classrooms today, many teachers say that students are more outgoing, talkative and aware than students from decades ago. However, many also say that general politeness has clearly declined. I suppose students today are more outgoing and generally more "aware" due to the increased openness of society. That can be good and bad. They are more comfortable to talk to people and share how they feel about things, which includes snapping off rude comments when angry or upset.

Maybe some of this perceived rudeness is due to the lack of formality that politeness requires. I guess I am getting old, but I even remember the exact year when my neighbors asked me to quit calling them "Mr. and Mrs. Osborne," and start calling them, "Claude and Bernice."

It seems like there are positives and negatives to raising our children to be more open.

What do you think?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I know when I was in HS we once had a principal that was a "Dr" and he could be quite rude if a student called out a "Good Morning Mr. X" I realize he worked hard for the title "Dr" but at least a student cared enough to say good morning to him.

I think it's great that you're out and about where the students can actually see you. My school superintendent was hidden away in a corner office of my then Jr. high with the entrance being outside or connecting through the janitors area. My memories of actually seeing him was to have someone point him out in the audience at our Christmas programs.

Personnally I don't find most kids to be rude. Yes, they may get rowdy but most seem to be good kids. With my own children I haven't pushed using the Mr & Mrs. titles with adults they know well but constantly have to remind them to say please & thank you. But just saying thank you isn't enough for the older people who prefer handwritten thank you cards. But that not getting passed down to the kids is my fault not theirs.

I do find some adults lacking when dealing with kids though. Recently my son was making a purchase with his own money. I simply drove him to his destination. The store clerk kept directing all questions and informatin to me even after I told her he was the one making the purchase.

Politeness is a 2-way street.