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Letters From Listeners

Not Being Ready for College-- or Life!

I am a high school teacher. I serve on a committee that works with parents to encourage struggling students so they have a better chance to graduate, thus improving their later quality of life. I'd like to tell you about a recent meeting with "Jane," a 17-year-old junior who is repeating some freshman level classes due to failing grades. She has several facial piercings, wears gothic attire and has daily outbursts of emotion during class.

The girl does not get along with her parents, disrespects them by yelling and cursing at them and often lives with a 20-year-old boyfriend. The student recently missed numerous days of school to attend a cross-country event that was for newfound relations - people who are essentially strangers. As a teacher, I suggested summer break would be a better time for a vacation, but, hey, what do I know!

I have been thinking about a quote from the student's parent: "I can't wait for her to move out and go to college!"

College?! This student is not employable for any type of job due to her lack of respect for authority and lack of impulse control. College is not even in the realm of possibility as her study habits are nonexistent and she has no interest in any field of study. The disconnect between reality and what parental perception is amazing! Parents often fail to teach and discipline their students. Then, they look to the school for answers.

I am a teacher. I just want to teach my subject matter; I do not want to teach the basics of proper behavior because that should be covered at home--during the toddler years.

I am very concerned for the current generation of youth that has no clue about proper behavior and hard work. I'm even more concerned for us, the generation ahead of them, because we will have to continue to pick up their slack.


Tags: Attitude, Behavior, College, Education, Higher education, Motivation, Personal Responsibility, School, Stay-at-Home Mom, Students, Values
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