Professor Mom

Chronicles the life of a mom, teacher, and writer trying to stay sane amid the chaos of daily life.

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mouse's picture mouse

Despite all that's said about schools taking over parenting roles, I feel like there are a number of skills that I was taught that are no longer included in the curriculum. I realized just the other day that Scooter does not know how to answer the phone. While that's something my parents drilled me on, I also remember being taught about it in class. (Of course, it also involves more complex machinery now. Back in my day we *dialed* the phone--now there are extra buttons to push and it varies with the phone.)

Similarly, there were at least a couple lessons on things like job interviews. Heck, I think we learned formal introductions as part of English class. I just don't think they're doing that anymore in most places.


Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

I think there are many, many skills that kids just aren't learning anymore. All the new technology around seems to beg that kids learn how/when to use it appropriately, and maybe this is taught in high school, I don't know. I do know that many of my students are very surprised when they find out that it's inappropriate to use "text message speak" with your college teacher.


mouse's picture mouse

The text message speak drives me crazy, as does the use of emoticons and the like when students email me. Levels of discourse need to be explicitly taught! I think when I was a kid (how old am I making myself sound about now?) we were taught the formal side of things and learned to loosen up as the situation warranted. Now, I feel like everything is completely informal and a lot of people don't get lessons in the higher levels until they've already shot themselves in the foot.


Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

I agree 100%, and I always feel really, really, old when I talk about the way things once were taught. But I remember formality being really pushed, in all areas--school, home, etc. and I remember being taught that t here was a marked difference in how to address different people, depending on the situation. Somehow these lessons aren't being taught (or learned?).


Omaha Mama's picture Omaha Mama

Oh my gosh. If you knew how many high school teachers I know who struggle with this. Why do kids think it's okay to speak with teachers like that?! Why do parents come in and blame the school instead of their child for this major rule infraction?! It's an epidemic? Do I have an answer? Absolutely not. But I guess there's a few of us willing to stay in the battle. Willing to try and help them along.


Omaha Mama's picture Omaha Mama

Oh - and emails? I just taught a lesson this fall where students had to send me a formal email. No text speak allowed. Which included lots of eye rolling *not my eyes* and then I felt 100 years old. OMG. And by G, I mean gosh. But I'm sure you know that already. :0)


Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

I'm thinking of adding a mini-section to my English Fundamentals course where we go over e-mails and texting, etc. I always cover this a little bit but honestly, I think they need to spend more time on it!

I like your E-mail assignment--I think I will borrow it for next semester!