Education column: The problem with kids today … nothing

By Penny Bailey: Clovis Municipal Schools

The other day, I overheard a conversation. Two people were discussing “the problem with kids today.”

I laughed because I remember hearing my parents and grandparents saying the same thing when I was young. Then, one of them said our kids are not being taught to “think for themselves.”

I pondered that thought and decided to check it out for myself.

So, I visited classrooms at various schools throughout our district. In one class, the students had just come from an assembly where they listened to two guest speakers. Back in their classroom, the teacher instructed the students to “Think about what you just heard.”

There it was, the “think” word. She gave them one minute to collect their thoughts, and then the students talked about the guest speakers and discussed their comments.

Another classroom, another teacher … students were gathered around various tables working on their projects. One group got to a point where they were not sure how to proceed. So, they asked the teacher what they should do. She said: “What do you think you should do?” There it was again … the “think” word!

Still not convinced, I ventured to more schools and more classrooms. Over and over, I encountered the same thing … the teachers were not only encouraging our students to think, but they were requiring them to think for themselves.

I never discovered what the problem is with kids today. Maybe it is that they don’t think the same way others do. But, I can attest to the fact that our teachers do challenge our students on a daily basis to think for themselves.

And, as I “think” about this, I realize the two people who were discussing “the problem with kids today” probably heard their parents having the same discussion about them when they were young.

My guess is that kids today will have this same discussion about their kids.

At least we’re all thinking … and hopefully laughing a little bit, too.

Penny Bailey is a communication specialist for the Clovis Municipal Schools. She can be reached at