Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Art of Teenagers

Yesterday I was a substitute teacher for an art teacher. It was half day which works well for Yahoo and me. I had a class of kindergartners (with Yip and Yahoo!) and a group of high schoolers. The kindergarten class was fun and all, we got to draw birds, but it was the high schoolers that really made me miss teaching. I taught teenagers way before I ever imagined myself married with kids.

As typical high schoolers are they tried to get out of working for a sub or tried to sneak out their cell phones to send texts. And, like most high schoolers I've ever subbed for, they were curious about me and asked me all kinds of questions; where I'm from, where I've lived, what are my kids like, etc. And in turn I asked them all kinds of questions about Kansas. One kid told me there are lots of trees in Kansas. Obviously he'd never been far from home.  

What really made me laugh about these teenagers was the extreme polarity of their self confidence. For example, a few of them got into a deep and heated discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of President Obama, each extremely adamant about their point of view, yet a moment later they didn't have the confidence to choose a color of paint. It's like their brains aren't completely wired up yet.

They also reminded me of how much I knew when I was 18 and how little I knew when I was 21. When I was 18 my parents drove me up the wall because they didn't know anything and sure didn't understand me. But when I was 21 I couldn't get enough of their advice. I still like getting their advice. (Yes. Send it this way.)  

But despite all of that I still like teaching high school kids. They have such individual personalities which makes teaching this age such a unique challenge. I enjoy some of the crazy identities that high school kids create for themselves too. I once met a kid who dyed his hair in rainbow stripes with Kool-Aid. They can be cynical and stubborn and argumentative....and sometimes I like em' that way. Because occasionally that means they are really thinking.

DR and I figured up that when Yahoo is a freshman in high school, Yip and Yap will be seniors. Oh boy.
Three argumentative, opinionated, stubborn, completely individual teenagers in the house at once. Ha! That's about what their personalities are now! But still it will be interesting to see what kind of teenagers they will become.

Yesterday one girl, who was a senior, mentioned how much she'd miss high school next year. I can't say I ever missed high school (do you?) or that I'd ever want to return to high school (would you?) but I can say I miss spending my days with teenagers. Because they are sure entertaining.


  1. I miss choir! I miss singing with a collection of beautiful voices to make an even better sound. I also miss teaching high school kids. I loved them, even though my old self would argue on a few characters. The world is their oyster, but most don't know it yet.

  2. I miss high school, I had a great time!

    So happy for you that you got to do that! I know you love doing art with your kids, but it must feel so great to get in a classroom and teach high schoolers about what you love!

  3. I'm living with 3 almost 4 of those teenage creatures right now - you are so right - they are such unique individuals whose wires aren't fully connected yet! Living with them is not for the faint of heart!

  4. I think that's so awesome that you love teaching high school students. Not everyone can do it!

    I don't really miss high school. The only thing I miss is having my parents pay for my clothes and car insurance (LOL). I've definitely grown a lot since then and lost a fair amount of weight, so I don't really want to go back then. :)

  5. I don't miss high school one bit. I like teenagers too, despite their lack of "wiring" and "filters" they are a a lot of fun. Full of ideas and promise!


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