Adults Behaving Poorly


Walking into the classroom, a paper airplane flies from the back row towards the front. Upon asking the student to pick it up, I get the normal teenage response: I didn’t throw it. Although I know this is the typical middle school student response, outright denial of any wrong doing, it angers me. After 15 years of teaching in a middle school, I should be used to it. Where do adolescents learn this behavior?

Then it dawned on me. Students see adults out right lie about their behavior every day. Lies permeate our lives. Observant children learn to lie about their behavior by following the adult models found all around them. Our youth look to model themselves after celebrities/characters they observe on TV and social media. Poor behavior is also abundant in many of the popular video games our children are playing. Adults are behaving poor all over the world for our students to see.

Children here in Michigan can look no further than Lansing to see the denial behavior. Flint residents have been complaining for over a year about their water. Finally Governor Snyder has admitted their is a problem. If our leaders are modeling this behavior, how can we fix it in our schools?

Where can our students find positive role models? TV used to be full of them. Ranging from The Huxtables on the Cosby show to The Keatons on Family Ties. Of course preschool students see positive behaviors on Sesame Street and other PBS programing. Most mainstream programing lacks programing that contains positive role models. Now in a world of on-demand and 100’s of channels our youth can see shows that were once only seen after 10 pm, any time they desire.

Adults need to reflect on our values. DO we value adults behaving  poorly? Is this the legacy we want to pass on to the next generation? Our children’s behavior is all learning, the majority of it by observing adults. Be the model you want others to follow! Time for the adults to shape up!




Dear MTV: Stop making my job so hard!!

Dear MTV-

I used to like watching your channel, back in the day when the “M” stood for Music. It was entertaining to watch the musicians add visual images to their sounds. It was educational to watch MTV news and hear about the music industry ins and outs. Now, I am left wondering what the “M” means. It certainly isn’t music.

I am now no longer a casual viewer, since I can’t hear the latest music. Your airwaves are filled with uneducated reality shows. Don’t get me wrong, there are some reality shows with educational and entertainment merit. But MTV your shows make my job harder everyday.

I am a middle school teacher. You cater to my students’ demographic (a word they don’t know yet).  Jersey Shore, Teen Mom and other “reality shows” give my students the wrong idea of what it means to be successful in life. Jersey Shore depicts young adults partying and living a life of no worries. Student feel they can follow in their footsteps and not have to worry about becoming educated. Teen Mom glorifies teenage pregnancy. Student think it is okay to have sex, get pregnant, have their parents take care of the hard stuff and still be “kids”.

Why are you choosing to model all the WRONG behavior in our country? Their are so many good stories that could focus on the value of education. TV networks today seem to take entertainment too far. Teachers like me are fighting all the negative influences on our youth. If you haven’t noticed we are loosing the battle according to international testing numbers.

Students spend almost as much time in front of a TV as their teachers. We need your help. Producers, like yours need to find ways to project a positive image of educations and moral values. MTV used to have a variety of shows that helped shape the moral fiber of youth. Now the channel seems filled with shows that display bullying, poor choices and highlight characters lack of education. It appears MTV has chosen to highlight “How to succeed despite your efforts and education.” Seems like a simple formula, become outrageously stupid (Like the JACK ASS boys) and you will be extremely rich because MTV will pay you.

If we, the United States community are going to turn the ship around, we need our media outlets to change. MTV along with other media outlets need to focus on positives. How to work hard, educate yourself despite your situation, and show respect. This will be the only way teachers, like me have a chance in succeeding.