Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Respectful Counterpost: Reflections on High School

Kadi (aka The Innkeeper) from Womb at the Innsane just put up a post that got my wheels going. Instead of hijacking her comments and starting a great feud with anyone I thought I would attempt a respectful counter post here. I know! A respectful counterpost?! Who knew that could happen in the blogosphere!!

Kadi is reflecting on high school today and posed a lot of questions. The one that is sticking with me is the question of why administrators and teachers aren't doing more to foster character and encourage grades and the bigger picture over the popularity contests and cliques.

I was the Invisible Girl in high school. I kept my nose to the grindstone and I really couldn't have cared less if the popular people noticed me or not. When you are popular in history class because you actually prepared for the current events quiz, you really don't expect to be popular for much else. I had friends and I dated. It wasn't like I was completely invisible. But the rest wasn't important to me.

My parents made sure that I knew that my grades were what was going to get me through college. My parents made sure that they fostered civic responsibility in me and showed me that it would be as much fun for me as it was for the people I was serving. It wasn't important because my parents reminded me at home that there was life after high school.

In today's day and age, I think teachers and administrators have enough on their plates with shrinking budgets and metal detectors at the doors. I think they have enough disengaged parents who expect them to teach their children proper manners and behavior standards, that they really couldn't care less who is popular and who is a geek.

So I guess my response to Kadi's post is this. It's time for parents to be parents. The garbage in high school is going to happen. But if we as parents show our children where the true worth is and if we push them to rise above it (even if it means being an "outcast"), perhaps our children will not be the high schoolers of the adult world who have to put others down to lift themselves up. Perhaps they will be the civic servants of tomorrow who don't need people to look at them and give them ovations for them to make the world a better place.


Jennifer said...

I was never popular in school, and in all honesty, never cared about it. I was a nerd and more than a little odd, and I was proud of it. I encourage my kids to be themselves, as strange as they are sometimes, and I hope that they never get caught up in the mess that goes on in school. I don't think it's the staff's responsibility to do anything but teach my child. It's my job to teach them to be decent people and while I appreciate all the help I will be getting from their teachers in the future, I do not hold them responsible for that task.

Mrs. Incredible said...

I agree to your statement that it is the parents job to teach these values and self worth to our children. Too many families are too busy to connect with each other. Parents are tired from a long day of work, the kids are having too much fun on the video game system before you know it, the years have gone by.
It is extremely important that we teach our kids that their identity is not in their friends or status in High School.

Michelle said...

It seems I haven't been on-line much in the last few weeks...I have missed a lot of great blogs. I have to agree 100%. I am teaching at the homeschool academy this year...the parents MUST have an active role in the child's education because they teach them 2 to 3 days a week. The difference in the students behavior and attitude is a world of difference. It starts at home!