Those little squishy brains like loaves
Crammed so tightly inside skulls,
Easy bake ovens baking them away.
But always remind yourself
That the teenage brain is half baked
It still has a way to go
Before it gets its golden crust
That tasty crunch that makes such sense
And airy insides free of angst.
One of the most interesting things I learnt during teacher training was that the teenage brain is not fully formed and this means that they genuinely struggle to understand other people’s emotions. They do things without thinking and then have no clue as to why others are upset. They are the centre of their own universes and we are just inconveniences that get in the way.
I had to grit my teeth and remind myself of this scientific fact today – otherwise I would have thrown something and screamed.
Last night I stayed at work until seven, speaking to parents and giving glowing reports. Today, those same students did nothing in lesson and because I dared to ask one of them to stay behind for five minutes to finish the work, she left my room and stuck her middle finger up at me as she left.
I was fuming, and I still am fuming – hence the reason I’m writing all about this. Thank god I got the memo that teenagers don’t give a damn about anyone’s feelings, because if I hadn’t, I may not have been responsible for my actions today.
5 thoughts on “don’t be angry, they’re still half baked”
You’re so right, Rachel, about teenagers! They are still learning how to see things from others’ viewpoints, and frequently have no filter. They’re egocentric and they focus on themselves. In a lot of cases it’s not narcissism; it’s simply the inability to see things from other perspectives. And it can be hurtful. The one piece of advice I learned when I was teaching teens is not to take the things they say and do personally. They are acting out their own pain and growth. And as maddening as it is, it usually ends.
Yep, somebody told me that they go off to university acting like a little narcisist and then they come back aged 21 a delightful and thoughtful human being.
Dear Rachel, to survive as a teacher, please let it go. 🙂 Students are (rightfully) angry at the system, and you just happen to represent the system. Adding SEL (social-emotional learning) is an important first step – but teenagers have already survived many years in a dysfunctional system that focuses more on test results than deeper learning. It is understandable that the common survival strategy is to use a surface/strategic learning process: aiming to get good enough grades without actually wanting to learn more. Teaching is still very, very important work, but self-care is needed. After many years in education I learned to choose to use positive regard as my survival strategy. https://notesfromnina.com/2022/12/05/using-positive-regard-to-reframe-my-perception
Scientific facts are excellent. SEL is based on them.
I couldn’t agree more. I’m just a sensitive soul and I’m still trying to build up that thick skin that is required for teaching. I’m getting there though. And I appreciate what the kids have been through over the past few years. It’s been tough…
That’s was when I was younger