Yesterday about ten of us teachers wore a T-shirt that said “I Love Frosh.” I was amazed at how many students, upperclassmen as well as freshmen, who did not know what “frosh” meant. Every year I realize that the kids do not have the same references that I do. They think Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a classic movie, whereas I saw it at the theater. Another movie that I think is “new” is Romeo and Juliet starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes. I just realized it was made the same year this year’s freshmen were born. I remember dragging my pregnant wife to see it. (She fell asleep.)
This revelation also reminded me of my first year of teaching. Around Nov. 22, the teachers in the lounge were complaining that the students of today did not understand the impact President Kennedy’s assassination had on everyone. The teachers then shared where they were when they heard the news. When my turn came, I said, “I was but a twinkle in my parent’s eyes, as I was born in 1965.”
What I have learned is that not every child or person has the same memories. All of us bring our own memories to school or work. The biggest example I can think of is this year being the tenth anniversary of 9/11. The freshmen class was four or five years old. I doubt they know where they were when they the terrible news of the twin towers falling. I do. I was in class with freshmen. True teaching terminated. We watched the TV and realized the world as we knew it had changed.
We cannot stop change, nor can we change references each generation has. Back in the day, my dad created hot rods. Today, my oldest son knows how to create video games.
I only hope that I can keep up with the kids and their references.