Some of my female colleagues have the bad habit, in my opinion, of calling their students ‘sweetie’, a moniker they claim reflects their affection and regard for these ebullient teens, both male and female. The reason I profoundly disagree with this term, besides being too sugary, is the negative reaction I observe in most adolescent boys; they don’t manifest their inconformity openly, but I can see their pained expression as if saying “Don’t confuse me with a little kid.” Self-esteem often grows and withers during the teen years, depending on the circumstances. The use of such condescending words can only irritate and even damage their self-image.
The will is infinite and the execution confined. The desire is boundless and the act is a slave to limit (Shakespeare)
Every year, in France, there is an increase in the number of single teen mothers. England has the biggest problem in Europe with 30 pregnancies per 1,000 teen girls, while France has 15/1000, Germany shows 20/1000, Holland, on the other hand, is doing a better job of informing its youth with 7/1000. It also seems that puberty in girls is showing up more frequently at an earlier age (9 years-old) while it used to be not long ago between 12-13.
Just finished another round of testing, this time with the new state assessment for the state of Texas dreamed up by idle bureaucrats; the last one was perfectly O.K. It gave me however a chance to talk to freshmen from all walks of life once they finished testing. It’s amazing how much information and interest a teacher can elicit in a couple of days in open and frank exchanges. As usual, we had 3 hours with nothing to do – nothing allowed of course, except talking, till the gods of education decided to let us go to class for the last period.
- The ego represents what we call reason and sanity, in contrast to the id which contains the passions (Sigmund Freud)
The word normal, I would much rather use the adjective ‘innocent’, has been abused and misunderstood ever since the “science” of psychology took off with Sigmund Freud. I place the word ‘science’ in quotation marks because, again, most of it is more art and guesswork than hard facts.
Innocent means there is no danger to the teen or to others. Let’s face it; sometimes the adolescent goes to extreme emotional states which may easily convert into violent actions. We have seen enough cases of shootings in schools to provoke a slew of regrets as to what may have prevented the tragedy.