I have been thinking about this post for quite a while now, and I will admit it is a bit different from my usual classroom ideas, but I decided that it fits well with the Thanksgiving weekend. Today, I would like to say I am thankful for teenagers and for the enrichment that they bring to my life.
I am sure that many of you have had this experience. You meet someone new and they inevitably ask what you do for work. When you respond that you teach they comment something like "Oh little kids are so cute." When you correct them and tell them that you teach high school, they give you a pitying look and mumble something about dealing with their teenager, or say something like "that must be interesting." I will be the first to acknowledge that teaching teens has its challenges, but often people forget about the teens who are doing amazing things. Teenagers who receive very little credit in the media.
So here is a secret, I admit that I watch (and love) The Voice, and while I am several episodes behind (I watch online), I still have to give credit to Caroline and Jackie. Two teenagers who are onstage night after night, who carry themselves with grace and poise. Two teenagers who can look adults in the face and accept critique without tears, and instead they say Thank you. And, to any who may not teach, I would like to say that all of us high school teachers receive the gift of being able to work with similar teens. I have students who are able to conduct themselves with as much control as an adult. Students who can politely ask for help, come back and give an apology, or look me in the eyes when I have asked them to correct something and say Thank you. So yes, while I teach students that can be challenging at times, it is also good to recognize the numerous teens across the country who conduct themselves more professionally day in and day out than many adults.
Today, I am thankful for teenagers (and my job!)