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Kids Today

The task at d’Verse Poets today is to write a poem that incorporates a fear or confession.  I have to confess, changing into a general education position hasn’t returned my enthusiasm for teaching.  Maybe it’s the difficult circumstances (I was the third teacher of the year coming in), but I still miss the good old days of teaching.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s better, but I will confess to having a desire to take all my students’ cell phones and throw them out the window.  Honestly.  Without further ado…

“Kids have changed?
Oh, no they haven’t,”
any teacher will tell you.
A changing world has
made their ways,
inattentive and manipulative,
easier to perform.

Papers turned in
all pristine clean,
not a single doodle.
No time to creatively
mar their paper, making
a teacher strain to find
their actual work.

Their phones demanding
undivided attention;
a hand-held world,
on-line and off-task.
Not a single hand-written
note to pass in class;
texting instead.

“Choose your topic,
something that annoys,”
the teacher commands.
Students grab their phones
asking the great god Google
what that might be
because they can’t think.

“Watch the video;
there will be a paper,”
the teacher instructs.
Yet video games steal
their undivided attention;
they will Netflix later
and Snapchat now.

“Be creative and original;
I’m grading your writing,”
the teacher encourages.
Yet papers turned in
copied and pasted from
numerous Internet sources,
not a drop of original work.

“Pay attention
I’m trying to explain,”
the teacher begs.
Students Facebook
throughout the entire day,
blank looks when its
time to begin the task.

“No kids haven’t really changed;
they live in a different world,”
the teacher despairs.
Test scores fall despite
more legislation to succeed.
If only young people were
equipped for technology.


I’m also sharing for the open link at Real Toads.

28 thoughts on “Kids Today

  1. This is an excellent testimony to the impact technology has had in the educational realm. And presented in such a spellbinding manner! I’m still marvelling at your use of “the great god Google.” Absolutely brilliant.

  2. Oh, this makes my heart ache, Teresa…for students and teachers! It’s challenging to keep home school students online but on task too.

  3. How perceptive. I really liked your stanza:

    Their phones demanding
    undivided attention;
    a hand-held world,
    on-line and off-task.
    Not a single hand-written
    note to pass in class;
    texting instead.

    The whole thing is spot on though.

  4. I have two friends who went back to teaching on the college level, after retirement, & both quit after a year because the kids drove them mad, zero attention span, zero creative thinking, arrogance, distracted,–what kind of ridiculous automatons are we raising?

  5. As a teacher, I can completely understand your frustration, though I am grateful that no cellphones are allowed during class time at my school. The incidence of plagiarism is the biggest concern of all.

    • Like I said, I was the third teacher of the year, so I just haven’t been able to break the cell phone habit and it became way too confrontational and chaotic to keep trying. I’m hoping to start on the right foot next year. Google makes it way to easy to plagiarize. Good luck with that!

  6. the education field has def changed…and you either embrace it or it drives you crazy…I figure if they are going to use the cells they might as well use them for something I need…ha…so I try to incorporate it….but it seems a whole lot crazier and much more entitled than when I was in school…

  7. A huge downside to cellphones now… social media is making us less social; we don’t need to try too hard anymore because google has all the answers… I love social media, but I make sure to put my phone away when hanging with friends… most don’t because they feel the need to prove they “have a life” to complete strangers on the internet. Why does it matter so much what some guy who follows you on twitter thinks? We all need to put the damn phones down… often.

  8. I am sure it must be challenge to fight for their attention now versus the lure of techno gadgets and social media ~ In the same manner, parents now have a tougher time in managing children and keeping them away from FB & other social media ~

  9. No, kids haven’t changed. I had a book in my lap reading while the history teacher droned, spoke across the room to my friend in secret signs of my eyes and lips and pencil….ran to the library to search for information…..but it was harder to not be creative. Good work.

  10. ugh – there’s a big downside to all the modern technology – i can imagine that it makes it more difficult to be a teacher and to encourage them to use their own brain instead of copying things from the net..

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