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Dear Students, No, You Are Not Entitled

Let’s face it, teachers have one of the hardest jobs in the world – helping children learn and dealing with children who think they’re entitled. More so than ever, we’re living in a culture where students have a greater sense of entitlement and have a total disregard for boundaries in and out of the classroom. Either the assignment was wrong, their grade was unfair, or the teacher had no idea what he/she was doing. It’s as if students have become professional complainers.

By no means am I saying that every teacher is a good one. Heck no. There are plenty who I often wonder about, and question how they even got their credentials. Some teachers slide by for years and think that just because they have tenure, that they can manage a classroom and teach. Ongoing faculty evaluation is a whole other subject altogether.

As for entitled students…well, let’s just say they seem to feel entitled for one good reason. It’s because they’re parents TEACH them to feel entitled. Take for instance, a child who gets a bad grade because he didn’t have time to study for his test this past week, as he had to practice 4 extra days for his upcoming piano recital. So, here’s the equation that goes down. No time for studying plus extra piano practice equals bad grade on history exam. Mom doesn’t bother to evaluate the equation nor put any responsibility on her son. She automatically complains to his teacher, telling her that her son didn’t have time to study for the exam because of blah blah blah. She actually EXPECTS the teacher to be sympathetic towards her son’s piano recital! This is clearly not a partnership, but rather a distorted sense of reality of the parent in this case, that her son should be treated differently because he had other priorities, and that the teacher should reconsider changing his bad grade.

Because kids feel entitled, it’s more of an attitude than anything else, and the belief that they shouldn’t have to work as hard as their peers. Or perhaps it’s their parents taking care of everything for them so the child doesn't have to work for it. How many years can parents wipe their children’s asses and make demands of the teachers and administrators? Sure, we’ll do anything for our kids, in terms of guiding them and explaining about good choices. That’s Parenting 101. Ultimately however, entitlement sabotages motivation. It crushes the student’s self-esteem, since the belief is ingrained that their parents will do the work for them, or the teachers will give them what they want without earning it. Counterproductive for any sense of academic achievement.

Are we cultivating an entitlement generation? Are we really teaching our children the value of hard work? How is it possible to foster resiliency if there’s no adversity or struggles? No one said there wouldn’t be any growing pains for our kids, but why don't we try instilling the taking ownership route and teaching responsibility from an early age rather than pointing the finger at someone else?

Thought I’d lighten the mood and add an important message from your kid’s teachers (even though it’s not World Teacher’s Day). Enjoy viewing:

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