Silver tray...yep, I know that one. I sat through a high school graduation a couple of years ago and listened, appalled, to the superintendent and the principal claim that the graduates DESERVED our respect and pontificate d about how these kids were the "next greatest generation"...
It's not like the kids cured cancer, for crying out loud. They graduated high school. Yes, congratulations, but now it's time to get to work.
As they handed out the diplomas, I was struck with the image of high school graduates more appropriately being handed picks and shovels.
It has been my experience in the college classroom, and my colleagues will concur, that a large portion of incoming freshmen believe that the World owes them a living. It appears as though there are role models in their youth that feel the same and lead their young flocks to believe that life tastes better when eaten off a silver spoon. In talking to friends and relatives who teach in the public school systems, I have come to understand how the current paradigms in public education put our kids at a disadvantage when it comes to functioning in what my father always referred to as "The Real World".
A few years ago, I had the honor of building a Finnish soapstone masonry heater for a new Girl Scouts of the Glowing Embers Council facility in Kalamazoo. When asked what they, the girls, wanted for the new building, they almost unanimously said "a pizza oven". So, as a community, we made it happen. After completion, we taught the older girls how to fire the masonry heater and bake oven, leaving it them to teach the younger girls.
(I believe the build and the finished fireplace is on YouTube.) I bring this up because it remains in my mind as a fine example of the following statement:
"It takes a village to raise a child."
Inside and outside the classroom there remains a struggle to get the bulk of parents involved, and might I add accountable, for their children's education. While I detest the parental drive that forces a child to engage in activities that they would rather not, I think the parental responsibility is to stand firm in their child's involvement in activities that will enable them to be self-reliant, participating members of their community.