What I See… (Students)

FriendsOur metro news stations have been running headlines concerning fights in public schools and how our schools are full of  out of control students. I laughed when I read the online comments from the public deeming “all” of the youth of America to be out of control “thugs“. I work with teens everyday and it has been a long time since I have encountered an out of control student.

In my 18 years of teaching I have encountered exactly 4 out of control children. Over the course of these years I have had over 1500 students on my class rolls and have come in contact with thousands of others in the hallways and cafeteria. I think 4 out of thousands is a pretty good number.

What I see

I see students that help kids who drop all of their books in the hallway.

I see students that welcome new kids in a kind and caring way.

I see students stand up for students that can’t stand up for themselves.

I see students that struggle from day to day, but come to school each day and do the best that they can do.

I see students dealing with home life situations that most of us can not even imagine.

I see students dealing with abuse and broken families.

I see students overcoming situations that they are in through no fault of their own.

I see teenaged parents working hard at school and then holding down jobs to help support their child.

I see students helping teachers in the hallways without being asked to do so.

I see boys holding doors open for others each and every day.

I see students reporting possible dangerous situations to the administration before things get out of hand.

I see students excited about learning new things.

I see students who hope to make the world a better place for future generations.

I see students engaged in classroom work and activities.

I see students doing nice things for others when they think no one is watching.

I see students cry when others around them are hurting.

I see students come together during times of crisis to support each other.

I see students giving to others when needs are made known.

I see students trying to mediate their problems instead of fighting with one another.

I see students making room for 1 more at an already crowded lunch table.

I see students reaching out to those that seem lonely.

I see students starting clubs that promote caring about others and stopping bullying behavior.

Mostly I see little kids in big bodies that need to know that just because they are teens they are not thugs.


Our youth need to know that they have value in their homes, school and society. We as a society have done very little to make teenagers feel valued. Many adults lump all teens into one category and refuse to see that most teens in our community have a lot to offer. Yes, we do have some bad kids in our schools but we need to remember that right now in this moment the good kids do still out number the bad kids.



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