|The Teenager I currently live with-- my little bro.|
I'm a high school teacher (for the first time). Which means I willingly spend the better part of each day hanging out with a bunch of rowdy teens. I know they have their quirks, but sometimes I feel like I'm one of the few people on the planet that actually finds teenagers to be delightful. Sure they can be stinkers at times, but they hold a special place in my heart for several reasons.
They're still becoming who they are. I want to partner with these people during this crucial part of their journey. Whether they realize it or not, the things they do now will have a huge impact on their future. In looking for answers about who they are, I hope to be one voice answering, "You are valuable! You are unique! You can succeed!"
They're angsty. How great is it that they care? They are passionate little buggers! Every little thing gets them worked up. I tell them often that many of the revolutions in history have been lead by people their age or a few years older. And yes, sometimes I am on the receiving end of their rebellion. That part isn't as fun, but it is helping me learn to overcome my people-pleasing tendencies, so in a way I am thankful for it.
They care about fashion, media, pop-culture. I do, too! I love that they are up-to-date on everything that's going on in the world. I try to keep up with these things partly because I find the social implications fascinating--nerd alert, and partly because I want to be able to relate with people and keep in touch with our ever-changing society. I also have a mild clothes addiction. So there's that.
They are f-u-n-n-y. I can't even tell you how many times a day they make me laugh. I love exchanging silly banter back-and-forth with them. It is a blast.
They are (mostly) not children. With my students, I do not experience the constant anxiety that I feel while supervising their younger counterparts. I am not constantly worried that someone might die. I can talk about important things with them, and they get it. Plus nobody poops their pants. I think having to intervene with bodily functions is one of the main reasons why I could not be an elementary school teacher.
They are needy. It might not always seem like it, but they are constantly searching for positive connections with strong adults. Teens
I need to remember these things next time I'm ready to pull my hair out because they are throwing erasers, chatting during silent reading, blurting out "sweg," (which apparently is the new "swag") or just plain giving me sass.