Why Teenagers do not want to Learn

Mrs. Johnson turned to face her students and she noticed that the 13 girls and 17 boys in the class seemed to be more interested in visiting among themselves rather than in her lesson on grammar.  She had noticed this a lot over the past several years.  The students that she was charged to teach seemed  bored with her” board” work. 

 Henrietta Johnson was proud of her board; her black board, that is.  Years ago the administration had tried to have her prized chalkboard replaced with a dry erase white board, but she had successfully fought them off and she continues to use her board to teach her students. 

 Now they want her to turn in her trusty overhead projector and begin using something called an Elmo© and she was going to fight that, too.  Forty two years of teaching experience and the local administration thinks they know how to teach better than she does.  It’s a good thing the majority of the school board members and their parents were students of hers.  They know what a good teacher she is and that she doesn’t need any of the new technology to teach.

 Mrs. Henrietta Johnson has her mind made up.  She doesn’t feel that she needs to change her methods of teaching.  She is probably right; her teaching methods are sound.  However, they are not effective with today’s students.  Many times when it appears that student (teenager) does not want to learn, it could simply be that he or she isn’t interested due to the teaching methods being utilized.

For example, for today’s student to “see a video” in the classroom is no big deal.  When some of us were in school to get to see a movie was the highlight of our week.  Some of us can probably remember the big green monster of a projector that used reel to reel film.  From there we graduated to VHS tapes and then to laser discs.  Today there are DVDs and the Internet.  Students can access on their cell phone than we could have seen in the class room just a few years ago.  

To have to sit in a class and watch a teacher write on a blackboard with a screechy piece of chalk just does not stimulate some of our students to learn.  They are into technology, such as interactive whiteboards, IPads, IPhones, etc.  They are bored out of their gourd in many of today’s classrooms. 

Students, or teenagers, are not necessarily uninterested in learning.  They may just be uninterested in learning from the way the material is being presented.  We have gone to a technological society.  We expect our students to learn technology, yet we continue to teach from textbooks and blackboards.  Teachers need to become more flexible and technologically savvy if they intend to actually “teach” today’s teenager.