The New Senior September 2014

The New Senior for September 1, 2014

By T. Myers

I have been thinking about experiences that I have had with others during the summer months. Some of those experiences have not made sense to me. Now that September is here, and it is time to go back to school, my brain keeps pushing me to find out if most people actually are taking a break from cognitive thinking during the summers like children that stop going to classes during that time! There seems to be more and more unexplained behaviors and more reliance on social media than on common sense.

I raise questions through the year- you know, things to think about. Apparently, most of what I ask about is not relevant to most readers, so- as a New Senior, do I stop asking those questions? Do I let pets that are left in the car on a sunny day fry? Do I stop worrying about kids going back to school and not paying attention to traffic? Do I stop worrying about kids running through a restaurant when I am out to eat? Do I knock heads with people who are unaware of what is going on in the community because they do not read the local papers- and rely on GPS and Apps to find out about events? Do I support the old ways of getting out information (Books, Magazines and Papers) instead of working to get the info on Social media, myself? Whatever……!

I know that there is no sense in questioning the fact that parents let their kids have cell phones at earlier and earlier ages- so they can keep in touch in case of emergencies- and then they proceed to text and call their kids through the school day to find out the most mundane things, even though they may be calling in the middle of one of their classes!

Cell phones for children will not go away, because the parents of these children cannot live without them.

Then, we come to behaviors. I am now so old that I actually was graded on deportment back in grammar school. How I interacted with others was a big part of learning and was certainly something that teachers paid attention to way back when. Now teachers can try to modify behavior, but there are so many youngsters, some of them with diagnosed conditions that explain behavior, and daily medications to help the children with their diagnoses, that managing a classroom full of children is more like solving a daily puzzle- added to the fact that a teacher is planning lessons for the majority, planning lessons for the back-up plan and more lessons for the Individual Educational Plans (IEPs) for those students who need modifications in their learning styles or assistance in learning, period.

Safety is the main concern in a public school. (Yes, folks! Learning is secondary.) We want our kids to be safe during the day. Honestly, no teacher corrects behavior much, they divert, deescalate and direct attention elsewhere whenever possible and at the same time, they cannot leave anyone behind, they cannot let kids fall through the cracks and they have to stay on top of assessments for each child so they know how to teach them to pass the tests that are benchmarks of success.  (And the test results happen to be the way that a school is judged in terms of their success)

What are parents teaching children when it comes to behavior? Do they know what to do when they are in public so they can teach their children? (I remember a concert at LPHS when people [adults and children] were moving around and coming and going in the middle of a performance and I was really taken aback…)

What are they teaching them as far as responsibility for learning their school lessons?

What is the responsibility of a school in teaching proper behavior to our children?

What is the responsibility of New and Old Seniors when it comes to being the “watchers of the younger generation” and the old curmudgeons who correct behavior?

More than anything- do we need to redefine the present day culture’s acceptable behavior? There’s the rub! Who knows?

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