Today I posted final semester grades on my door. After whining for 3 hours yesterday (exam block) after they finished their tests that I don't grade quick enough, for some reason I decided crunch grades and get them up. They only cared because it was something to complain about. A whopping two came by to see what they got. Of course that was just to inform me that I should ignore the fact that they didn't turn homework in for weeks at a time and pass them.
First year teacher here. A few short months ago, I JUST KNEW that I could inspire them to do their work! What a joke. And really, why should they listen to me when I tell them to be responsible and put forth even a tiny bit of effort? Since kindergarten they've been told how special they are, how its not their fault when they act out in class because it's some crazy new disorder made up last week that caused the outburst, how its not their fault when they fail because their parents are divorced, or they're still getting over the horrors of getting in a fender bender at McDonalds three years ago, and the stress from those situations is overwhelming.
Today I was awakened to the fact that these kids are the dumbest and wimpiest kids of all time, and there is no coming back from it now.
Someone will tell me that every generation feels this way about the next generation. No. This is exponential.
Many will tell me to leave the profession. No. Just call me "Mr. Reality." I will inform these kids that "NO! Please! Listen to me! YOU WILL NEVER BE AN ASTRONAUT BECAUSE ASTRONAUTS DON'T GET 17s ON THEIR TESTS, THEN GO OUT IN THE HALL AND TALK ABOUT SWAG!" I will let these kids experience failure...and if I'm evil for enjoying it, then so be it. I will sleep fine tonight while everyone else scrambles around trying to figure out ways to pass failures and wonders why that grumpy Marine down the hall has so many F's in his class.
Everything will collapse in a few years. The sense of entitlement all these kids wear is noticeable in athletics, college, and now the workplace. Everything will soon be infected by these special little darlings we are pushing through.
My husband is currently in the NASA astronaut application pool, so it isn't completely unheard of.
Back on topic, I'm dealing with a 19% failure rate. They need to learn the consequences of failure. To be honest, my class is easy to pass with at least a minimal effort. Several of my failing students were supposed to graduate early but have postponed it for themselves. A couple still have a 0% in my class after 18 weeks (not counting breaks).
The best way to stay sane is not to take it personally. The students who are failing are doing so by ignoring me. If they took the chance to work with me, I could probably get them to a passing grade within a day. Instead, they'll have to take the class again with another teacher.
I focus on the 81% of my students who are striving to complete their education, especially those who ask for help and are happy to received it. They are doing amazing things, usually under extraordinary circumstances. Many of my best students are young parents, or full-time workers (sometimes two full-time jobs, or dealing with chronic illnesses. They get my full attention during as much of my waking time that I can give, well beyond my office hours.
Concentrate on the promising, manage the disappointing, and love what you can of all of them.
Can't say that I share your attitude about children today, but, to each his own.
The OP just makes me so sad. I'd advise this person to either get a mentor who makes a difference for kids and who can inspire you or to please leave education. There are plenty waiting in the wings who won't give up so quickly.
My kids are by and large amazing young people that I'm thrilled to know.
I'd love to know what your'e teaching your kids and how you're teaching it if so many of them have zero interest in learning it. I taught a room full of 12 years about humanism which has somewhere less than zero relevance to their lives today and it didn't leave me wanting to quit on the human race.
What the OP described I see every single day at school, as teenagers ring me up at the register in the grocery story, and in other situation. Students who would rather get high than crack open a book, or sleep through class then complain when they totally miss the instructions, who don't take notes while they text all hour, who say, "Who needs an education when you have SWAG?"
But as ANNOYING and frustrating as it is, that purposeful ignorance is what makes me want to teach.
I have had moments with some students where I've felt the same way--at least some of the things in the OP (not all). It can be frustrating and I understand it. Even so, it usually goes away when I have a kid who suddenly "gets it" or when I get a nice note.
If this is a permanent opinion, I recommend looking for a job in a different field. If it's temporary, then have a beer and sleep it off. Tomorrow is a new day.
I've been feeling similar to the OP. It's my first year, and nothing prepared me for the amount of disinterest, lack of effort, or addiction to cell phones that some of my students have. But there are always students in my classes that truly care, and I've started to focus all of my effort on them rather than letting the kids who don't seem to care drain all my energy. It might not be ideal , because I know I should be trying to reach all the kids, but its what is getting me through the days right now. There must be some good kids in your class.