Teens Part I
People have asked me how I can take the stress and highly charged atmosphere of teaching teenagers. I always reply that compared to most types of work, teaching is a privilege because each day I am faced with the future. Young people have so many beautiful qualities, they are so curious and excited about life, they can be so outrageous, and they have an innocence no matter how much hard life has crossed their path.
Even with the best plans one never knows what to expect. Teenagers amplify the moods, the expectations, the problems, and the concerns of society. The classroom is the focal point for all that is going on in society. If there are storms and disasters, factories closed, war, civil unrest, land disputes, environmental problems, diseases, or economic ups and downs, they all walk through your door each hour of each day. There is a difference between the school day and the evening news, however. In the school the problems have faces. In those faces, no matter how harsh the reality, one can see hope.
Hope is the spiritual food for youth. Tomorrow will be better. No matter that adults are leaving them a legacy of debt, pollution, depletion of natural resources, decayed cities, and a new world disorder. Somehow in the heart of each young person is the anticipation that his or her future will be better than the present forecasts might indicate. Why? Are they crazy? Perhaps idealism and the desire for a better tomorrow make a person a little crazy. Yet, young people live for the future that is where their dreams will become reality. Why else do they want to escape the garden of childhood for the asphalt, concrete, and synthetic carpet of adulthood?
world looks different to a teacher than to most people. First of all,
in order to survive, a teacher must have hope and some of the craziness
and excitement of kids. Second, a teacher must see the big picture.
He or she must see the future in every person and in all events. A teacher
must be a bridge with feet in the present and arms reaching for the
© 2003 Richard Sidy