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Are Students Truly Different Today?

Quora Question: As a teacher, what has changed the most

about students over the years?

1. The primary change that I observed is that students are SO much more skilled at using technology now that often classroom equipment is not up to date with what the student’s expect and are used to. This problem can be solved with more funding for school supplies. When I taught at new higher tech school my students loved it and were instantly up to the challenge. When I moved to another school that was way further behind I had to work hard to find better technology for my students. The only computers we had were called COWS (computers on wheels). What that really meant was that the subpar laptops were made worse by being rolled from classroom to classroom over bumpy school sidewalks. I wanted so much for my students to have access to technology that I did my best with the COWS. Eventually the students all got laptops that they could use and that was fantastic! If schools can get the funding to update their computers, their smart boards and their software and keep up with the pace of what students can do then that is great.



2. Behavior-Has this really changed? I know a lot of people think students have changed re: behavior/violence but I have not seen a huge change over 30 years. (I am not including the horrible school shootings. That is new. In fact, I have seen some changes for the better with students being more serious about post-secondary education and careers. As long ago as 1992 I had a student threaten to kill me and one threaten to shoot me. The one threat was after I caught a student stealing a scalpel and because he had a previous record he was sent to Juvenile Hall. The other student threatened to shoot me simply because I asked him why he wasn’t doing his work. This was in the early 90’s so not a new thing. (Yes, I stayed teaching for all the others that needed me). Some students are always challenging and sending students to the office for discipline has not been a solid option for years. Most administrations do not want to constantly handle discipline problems so they appreciate it when teachers have an effective classroom management system in place that they truly adhere to.


3.High School student mothers-I used to see a lot more teen females having babies. When I asked my students about this they explained that kids today know better and do not want to be teen mothers. In one student’s words, “We know how pregnancies happen and we know how to prevent it.”


Final Thought: Other than the changes I mentioned above, students today still seem pretty similar to the students I started with in the early 90’s.

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