#lookingclosely: Kids These Days

I had planned to write this post a while ago. I was debating whether I should put it out there since so many wonderful writers have done a much better job then I will but here it is anyways.

When I tell people I am a teacher, the first thing I hear is usually “That’s nice” and then comes the “Kids today” followed by a long list of complaints. “Kids today are self absorbed.” “Kids today don’t get outside.” “Kids today are addicted to their devices.” “Kids today have no manners.”


Every fall my nephews get a special day all to themselves for their birthday (they wouldn’t let me call it a date). Luca and I decided to check out the SkyZone this fall: a warehouse with trampolines from wall to wall. After about 15 minutes of jumping I was showing my age so I stepped off and stood back to observe the craziness. Yes, I saw the kids not listening to their parents or others not following the rules but when I looked closely I was amazed.

The amazing:

  • my nephew making a new friend in dodge ball
  • a kid on the other team ensuring a turn for a younger child
  • chatter and feedback on how to accomplish a better dive into the sponge pit.

So I left there reminded that

“Kids today will amaze you if you look closely.”

Over the following weeks, those moments of wonder seemed to pop up everywhere from the Kindergarten kid that invited me to sit down at the picnic table and chat; to my nephews’ vocabulary when discussing historical events, the high school student who greeted a stranger with a ‘Good Morning’ and smile in the parking lot or simply the smile of a 6 year old when they accomplish something new.

Once again I thought I had a lesson for others when the lesson was really for myself. As I was thinking of all the wonders I had observed I caught myself. Was I doing the same for educators, leaders, administrators?  In the busyness of pushing forward was I taking the time to look closely, search out the amazing before providing next steps?

This year I want to make sure to #lookclosely. And when the ‘kids today/teachers today/leaders today’ creeps into my mind I will try to redirect my attention to find the amazing no matter how small.

3 Replies to “#lookingclosely: Kids These Days”

  1. Tina, the only point that I don’t agree with you on here is your opening line implying that this post isn’t good enough compared to others. I think it’s fantastic!

    Looking at the positive is so important, and not giving up on anyone is equally as important. Often I think that it’s easier for us to find the faults with what others do, but not see the good things. That being said, I do see value in recognizing these good things and looking at suggestions for further success. This is beneficial for kids and adults alike. I’m glad that I get to work with so many amazing kids, educators, & administrators today, as I learn a lot from all of them.


    1. Thank you Aviva. You summed it up so well! I don’t know what it is but like you said it is easy to be drawn into ‘what’s missing’. I’m trying to make a conscious effort with all learners (big and small) to start with the positives but as you said we can’t stop there.
      I think it comes back to those trusting relationships we always talk about.

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