High School 2016

High School 2016      Hanover, NH
Observations and Reactions

Backpacks…75% of the kids walk stooped from backpacks crammed with books. Back in the day, there was no such thing as a backpack. How did we manage? Not as many books to carry?

Water bottles… 85% tote around water bottles. Many are eco-friendly  but even plastic water bottles can be refilled at water fountains designed for this purpose.

Coffee…  A shocking number of kids  walk into school carrying a cup of Starbucks coffee. Many others line up at the coffee machines in “The Caf.”

Food in class… There is no scheduled lunch, so if a kid has a full class load, it means eating in class. Distracting when trying to teach, especially the aroma of French fries when still allowed.
Cell phones…90% of kids have cell phones. Since they can use them to access information, sometimes they can sneak in a personal text.

Foreign travel… Every other year the band goes to Germany.  In addition, during school vacations and a special time called “March Intensive,” small groups of students have gone to Sweden, Kosovo, Costa Rica, Italy, Greece, France, Spain, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and once even China. We went to D.C. If we could afford it.

Drafts… Writing drafts. Never even heard  the term until about 23 years ago. Now a pape may go through two or three drafts with teacher or peer edits along the way before the final copy.

Athletics… especially for girls: lacrosse, hockey, soccer, softball, basketball… I would have been a different person if I had played a sport or at least been a runner. I bet it would have toughened me up in general, and I might not have been such a woos about getting wet in the rain!

Dress…Teachers dress very casually, not always neatly. Only one man  wears a jacket and tie, and he  graduated from high school 60 years ago and still teaches two classes of history a day.  Students… Shorts. On girls, the shorter the better. Actually I think they cover more than very short skirts. And tops…we won’t talk about them.
Sweats are popular with both sexes, especially during cold weather

Student interaction… mixed groups of males and females gather around tables in Atrium and lunchroom to study and/or socialize before school and during “x” periods. The library is another popular spot but there you are to whisper or not talk at all. Good luck!

Transgender… Providing bathroom for transgenders is a hot issue in Student Council. Who knew?

Condoms… Available from nurse. Oh wait, I think parental permission must be on file.

Pledge of Allegiance… To fulfill state requirement, a voice comes over the intercom at the start of the day. “Please pause respectfully for the  saying of the pledge of allegiance for those who wish to do so. ” Voice continues with pledge. Maybe two students in the whole school stand, face the flag,  and recite the pledge. They are Eagle Scouts.

High school in the ‘50’s?   That was then, this is now!

Dorothy C. Judd ©

Next post: Monday, April 11th


About twofelines

What to say? I love my family and friends. I also love kids, cats, and books. Oh, and potato chips and Cheez-its. I am a retired teacher who still loves to be in the classroom, so now I am a substitute teacher.
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2 Responses to High School 2016

  1. Ann says:

    Brilliant, Dorothy. Some items make me feel sad, and the backpacks have got to go. Kids are bent over tablets, cel phones, etc., enough as it is. As adults, they will have spine pain and arthritis, from body positions and repetitive motion problems (hands.) Yet, flexibility is key to modern life. Food, cel phones, and comfortable clothes are part of modern work life as well. Teachers MUST dress professionally, and not try to be “one of the kids,” for lots of reasons.
    Bathroom breaks worry me; in Richmond so many high schools have crumbling buildings, some with non-functioning plumbing, rats, bugs, other filth. Remember when every school had a full time janitor? Now the teachers have to do it all, and pay for supplies out of pocket.
    One elementary school had mold and mildew so bad, the building had been condemned; despite that, the school board kept students and teachers there for some years – until the media attention shamed the adults into moving the kids.
    Ah, me. Thanks as always for giving us things to think about.

    • twofelines says:

      Ann, I’m happy to say that the bathrooms at the high school are all clean and well maintained.I do not hesitate to use the student bathrooms because the staff ones are not conveniently located.
      Our middle school is only about 6 years old, the high school was recently renovated as was the elementary school.
      You mention spine pain: I worry about feet; what with sandals and Crocs, there is too much time without support.When I was growing up, and when I was raising my kids, good shoes professionally fitted were considered important.Today I see even kids who are learning to walk wearing Crocs!

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