With the focus on schools and students in the national news, I thought it would be a good time to revisit a previous editorial I wrote for a local paper a few years ago that discusses what’s RIGHT with kids today. Below is an updated version of the article.
“What’s wrong with young people today?’’
Too often we hear that phrase, usually in response to some isolated event sensationalized on talk radio, social media or even on mainstream television. The problem isn’t the lack of accountability with talk radio or social media, or even the use of “teasers’’ for “up-next’’ reporting; it’s that we, as educators, by and large, aren’t bragging about our students’ positive successes. For at least 180 days a year (not counting coaching, directing and mentoring that occurs outside the school year), we have front-row seats to witness and nurture “what’s right with young people today!’’
I am sure CV is a lot like the other school districts in the Commonwealth in that we have financial concerns, state mandates, standardized tests, and the list goes on. But, and here’s the cool part, we also all share the fact that we have amazing kids walking through our doors every day!
It’s a student in a kindergarten class helping a student with special needs, without being asked, because it’s the right thing to do! It’s the elementary student who asks for donations of shoes for her birthday to give to other students in need. It’s secondary students donating their hard-earned dollars to the local food bank. It’s the students working part-time jobs while still completing their studies. It’s a simple “please’’ and “thank you,’’ or a “yes, sir” and “no, ma’am.’’ Our students give of their time and their efforts during numerous fundraising and community-impacting opportunities.
I would argue that because of our kids, the school is the heartbeat of the community. It is the place where our most valued and treasured resources — our children — go to on a daily basis. They bring their values and experiences from their own homes and meld them in with the other 4,300 students to create something dynamic, something exciting — a potential without limits!
You want to know what’s right with kids today? Ask an educator! We have hundreds of positive stories for every negative one that makes the headline of the day. We have stories of kids who make a positive difference, who enrich the lives of so many, of whom we are proud to have in our community, who make the “what’s wrong’’ question seem like a feeble attempt for attention, and who define the “what’s right’’ question by setting the example for peers and adults alike to follow.
What’s right with kids today? As we enter the second half of the year, stop in your local school, attend an extra-curricular event, talk to an educator, and find out just how awesome our kids truly are!