Monday, May 16, 2011


I was at my daughter's soccer practice a few days ago and while I waited I chatted to an acquaintance.

"How is it going?" I asked referring to his job at Mohawk College. "It's been crazy," he responded. "The Mental Health Clinic is nuts. Busy all the time we can't keep up."

" Oh?  What gives?" I asked.

"It's the damned internet," he joked. "People spending too much time online. But seriously though. It's kids coming in who are feeling depressed. They are feeling lost. They can't keep up with the work load."
What it boils down he said, is that there seems to be a sense of entitlement. A feeling of deserving the best- top marks.
"One mother came in saying that Mohawk College had better pull their socks up as her son is failing.So there is a lot of blame being put on the teachers."

Maybe it's the internet. Maybe the teachers aren't doing their jobs right. But I've come across this concern of kids feeling a sense of 'being owed,' often because they've paid good money for the courses.

The director of the not- for- profit I work at also taught an online course at one point last year and she noticed that the students in her course would often come back to her demanding that she give them a higher mark. They would get upset and angry with her when she wouldn't give it to them (as the quality was poor).

So what's this? Out of touch with reality?

One of the good things about the 'follow your interest' learning (unschooling) is that kids, from a very early age are encouraged to take responsibility for their learning and for their actions. I think it is the best lesson anyone can ever have.

Today, my daughter said to me, "Humm. I'm feeling bored with the same old. I have to make my own adventure." This is a 12 year old kid who already knows that it is up to her to create her own fun; make her own path."

The tragedy of schooling is that too often people go through years and years of schooling to end up expecting others to 'make it happen' for them.


Cathy said...

Great post! I must admit sometimes I go into panic mode when my kids are bored. Fortunately, my husband always reminds me it is normal and their responsibility, not mine, to figure out the next move. It is always exciting to see what they do next.

rfs said...

@Cathy-thanks! My kids get bored too and they'll ask me to give them ideas-which they will usually discard the moment I suggest them. I guess they just feel like sharing how they feel. Other times when not much is going on that is new and exciting (like now) we will plan an outing together. Even to a cafe or a movie. Something to just get the juices moving.

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