Monday, January 5, 2009

Generation We

A while back I posted a video about Generation We. This video is from a website that builds on the fact that this generation is trying to renew a hope in their own humanity and in the world.

As a teacher, I hold this hope that the world will be a better place. Or maybe I should say it's different...not better. It's different than any other place I've ever been in my life. But that's okay. My story is not their story. My story is filled with summer days at the lake and a walk to the Pontaic Cove Marina for a Mtn. Dew and a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. But their's different.

Here's a microcosm of the story of this generation.

Right now I'm sitting in a room with ten 17-19 year-old students. (This is perfect because I can actually do the math on this one.) :)

10 students
8 have jobs
6 have cars
All 6 make their vehicle and insurance payments.
9 have cell phones
6 pay for cell phones
2 pay their parents a monthly stipend.
8 have daily chores.
3 live with both their mother and father.
1 doesn't live with either parent

Aside from hauling hay in the summer and working in hog and milk barns, I can't name 10 people from my high school who worked during the school year of 1989-90. I'm not sure about vehicle payments or car insurance. None of us had cell phones. One of my friends didn't live with both his mom and dad.

I get frustrated as a teacher when I hear comments about how worthless and useless Generation We is. That "they don't know what hard work is," or "they haven't had to suffer through war or depression."

I don't know what the changes mean in our society, but I still hold to the thought that this is, by far, the greatest time in the history of education to be a teacher. There have not been any greater changes than over the last two decades...and to be a part of such greatness is inspiring.