Wednesday, October 15, 2008


If you're like me, or the other teachers at my school, you see lying in action every single day.

Teacher: Stop talking
Student: I wasn't talking!

Teacher: You copied your answers off of your neighbor.
Student: No I didn't!

Teacher: Where is your homework.
Student: My dog broke my flashdrive!

My first two are my favorite, because they are observable behaviors and I SEE it happen and students still deny it. It's frustrating. I always hear teachers ask themselves, do they think we're stupid? I tend to stop at 'do they think?'

I understand the impetus-- they don't want to get in trouble after all. But, what I don't understand is the lack of shame or remorse. The flat out lie and total disregard for consequences.

And then, last evening, I was sitting down to watch TV. Commercial after commercial came on--and lie after lie poured out. This car gets 30 mpg, this pill will make you skinny AND happy, this candidate voted this way or that way... and it's all lies, lies, lies, lies. And these lies are tossed out millions of times over and over.

So, is it any wonder kids lie? I don't mean to say that commercials cause kids to lie, merely that it is another symptom of our times. Politicians can bend and break the truth and the American public accepts it, believes it--if that's what they want to hear. The latest pharmaceuticals are touted on TV as the miracle cure for ALL your problems, and the American public goes to their doctor and asks about it--if that's what they want to happen.

I can't help but feel like so many of us are completely out of touch with reality, and we're letting our kids follow down a path where it doesn't matter what you say, as long as it's what people want to hear. A path where you don't have to think critically about the issues at hand, just find the one that sounds good. Aside from lying to my face, my kids couldn't recognize bias if it bit them on the nose.

If there is one thing I want to do as a teacher, it is to get my students to question what goes on around them... so many just accept what they're told, what they hear, what the see. Because questioning that is too hard. Even harder than writing in complete sentences!


Midwest Teacher said...

Getting them to think IS hard! I've been struggling with my juniors and teaching them how to determine whether the source they've found for their research paper is credible or not. Most of them have a hard time figuring that out. And, yes, the complete sentence thing is always an issue. :-)

Mrs. NC said...

I have yet to find a way to teach reliable sources that gets through to them. I am glad I am not the only one! Thank you.