Many of you may not realize this, and you may find it hard to believe, but six years ago I was gearing up to be a high school teacher. It turns out that after holding parent-teacher conferences, I’d rather deal with bucking broncs and ornery grizzlies than duke it out with badgering or apathetic parents. (The kids were fine; their parents were another story entirely.)
Anyway, as each school year begins it’s a good idea for teachers to take a step back and think about what the world is like from their students’ perspective — and it can be pretty bizarre.
My youngest brother is 16, and in a recent conversation with him he asked who Dick Cheney is — which makes sense; Cheney is too recent to be in the history books, but was out of office around the time my brother was mastering the fine art of reading books without illustrations in them.
Most “first memories” are made between ages 4-7, but solid memories of the world don’t really set in until age 10, according to psychology professor Carole Peterson and colleagues from Canada’s Memorial University of Newfoundland.
This year’s high school freshmen were born in 2002. That means they have some fuzzy memories from 2006, but it’s likely limited to playtime and family events. Their greater world perspective likely didn’t set in until roughly 2010.
I’ve got boots older than that.
So with that in mind, here’s a look into the mindset of the Class of 2020.