Recently I viewed the music video for the song "American Ride" sung by Toby Keith. At first it was humorous, but if one takes a closer look, it is really rather sad what our world has turned into. And what is even more sad, is that the children of today are growing up in this world.
To quote the lyrics in the song, the children of this generation are "kids on you tube, learning how to be cool, pays to be a mean girl". It is sad how true this actually is. Why is youtube so popular? Because there are parents and "dad works his can off paying for the good life" who do not have enough time to spend with their children, hence the kids turn to media to get advice on life. This gets out of hand, snowballing quickly into getting high on aerosol cans and dealing with insecurity in their looks and weight. But who can blame them? When their resources show that the majority of women (on television and in the media) are a size 3, that untruth is enough to depress anyone.
So, as teachers we need to try to identify with all the pressure and stress our students are dealing with today. The gap between being too young for things (drugs, sex, suicide) is quickly spiraling downward, and we need to be knowledgeable as teachers. What can we do? Give special attention (whenever possible) to those kids who set themselves apart from the class and might fall between the cracks. Let them know that at least one person cares, encourage him/her and be that reason for them to live.