Blasted Maslow!

"Why aren't you paying attention? This stuff is important, and you are going to need to know it!" This is the same speech I seem to give my students. The list of excuses is always growing, but two of the most common are:
  • "I'm hungry. How long until lunch?" (If we covered elapsed time already, I make them figure it out)
  • "I'm just too tired. ___x_____ kept me up last night. (x=little sister or brother, dog or cat, thunderstorm, or the popular belly ache)
As I was thinking about it, I realized that the kids are the living and breathing example of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Their excuses for not paying attention fall into the Physiological category, which is the first tier of needs. No wonder they aren't excited about the shortcut to find the area of a rectangle. Who cares about a topic sentence when your belly is growling and your eyelids are heavy!As I started to look over the whole pyramid I started to think maybe some of the categories are not so cut and dry anymore. With the rise of divorce, there is a blatant war against family stability. For many kids they have no framework for what family life looks like. They know every other weekends, ever other holidays, and birthday cards from far away parents with peace offering money. As this tier breaks down, it is only natural for everything else above to fall. Now more then ever kids are looking for love and belonging, and they desire connections. Look at the rise of social networking, along with the masses of text messages being sent. Kids want to be liked and known by others, and these two needs are becoming more and more prevalent. These are just a few changes I am seeing when I teach kids. I am sure there is more insight out there, and I would love to hear your thoughts.

What shifts or blurred lines of division do you see with kids today?

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