During the last few weeks, I have taken a survey of teachers and students of all different ages about what life was like as they were growing up. As you all might have guessed, there have been a lot of changes among all generations. According to the results, there is a wide generational gap between the students and teachers here at NHHS.
The main difference is in technological advances. Most students reported receiving their first cell phone as young as age 8, although the majority claimed it was between ages 14 and 16. However, some still don’t have a cell phone.
The teachers, on the other hand, reported having gotten their first cell phones as young as 16, while some didn’t get a cell phone until their twenties-- and some in their thirties.
Mrs. Borcherding, the MS/HS art teacher stated, “I shared a phone with my sister through high school.”
When the students were asked what types of first phones they had, many said that they had whatever the “latest” phone was, such as Samsung flip and slide phones and the iPhone 4s.
The students were asked to guess what the teachers’ first phones were, and many simply assumed they were not as “hip.” Seth Tolar guessed none-- that the teachers didn’t have any type of cell phone. Hannah White and Angel Koch thought the teachers might have had flip phones.
Emily Knoppe guessed, “It was most likely just a landline, or the phones with the spiral cord.”
Britany Willimann thought, “They may have had a landline or possibly one of the old boxy cell phones.”
Bailey Leuthauser imagined the teachers having rotary dial type phones.
When it comes to the comparison of video games now and then, it comes down to the teachers having Atari and Nintendo. Our current student body has very high graphic games with “fancy” systems, as Ms. McCroskey, the HS journalism teacher and one of the HS English teachers, pointed out.
She quoted, “I'm still quite young, so my technological experience was pretty similar to kids' these days. I do remember the days of really awful video game graphics though-- those were the days! Forget all these high-definition, realistic new games. Give me Mario Party and Spyro and Zelda any day.”
There were some teachers who weren’t very “into” video games growing up, however. As Mrs. Hoener, one of the HS math teachers, commented, “Video games were not that big of a deal-- at least with my friends and me. We had better things to do than sit around and stare at a screen for long periods of time.”
The internet and computers, on the other hand, were mainly used by teachers for writing papers and doing other school work, although some used them for social media. Not all teachers had the internet throughout high school, even though today many of the current teen generation can’t imagine a world without it.
Mrs. Hoener mentioned, “[There was] no internet. Yes, I had to complete high school without the help of Google.”
As many students and teachers have pointed out, one of the biggest differences between our two generations is the dependence on technology. However, there are some similarities between us-- according to the survey, our school experiences were enlightening and active.
For both students and teachers, on average, the silly games of “house” and “hide and seek” stopped after grade school, while the organized sports-- such as basketball-- began at the end of grade school and the beginning of middle school.
When it comes to how people were encouraged to do well in school, over half of both groups (students and teachers) were given incentives throughout their schooling.
Furthermore, most at NHHS reported that they had many great norms and values instilled in them while growing up.
Other students mentioned that they were taught important lessons like to be respectful, treat others fairly and how you would like to be treated, use your manners, and always try your hardest.
Mr. Hagedorn, one of our HS science teachers, simply said, “Work hard and you will succeed.”
On the other hand, some felt as if the norms and values introduced to them at a young age were too “old-fashioned.”
As Emily Knoppe explained, “the private school I went to [until about 7th or 8th grade] encouraged girls to never cut their hair, wear pants, makeup, or earrings. Only wear skirts knee-length or longer, be quiet and obedient, and grow up to be a good housewife.”
On the survey, participants were asked to make some predictions for the next generation of kids. Some of NHHS’s predictions for the next generation include:
Mr. Hagedorn guesses, “There will be a lot less face to face interaction and kids going outside to play sports.”
Mrs. Koch, the foreign language and band teacher, predicts, “I believe the technology advances will continue to grow and if you are not keeping up with the ever-evolving process of it, you will be left behind quickly.”
Britany Willimann says, “This next generation will be the most accepting out of all of the previous. They will fight for what they believe in and make miracles happen. They will be smarter and more kind than anyone would imagine.”
Mrs. Borcherding hopes that a strong work ethic becomes the norm.
Mrs. McCroskey explains, “We often talk in class about what the next generation of kids will be like. I think they will be a well-connected and creative group-- lots of constant stimulation will do that. But at the same time, if people keep eating Tide pods or doing the ‘Knock Yourself Out Challenge’ by running into walls with their heads, we're in for a rough ride.”
Seth Tolar simply hopes that they are better than the previous ones.
Mrs. Hoener simply states, “I hope their ways work out for them.”
As you can tell, there are lots of differences among the generations in our high school. We all hope for the next generation to be greater than us, but as Bailey Leuthauser mentioned, only the future can tell.