A colleague was telling me about how different students of today are from students of the past, oh maybe, 10 or 15 years ago.  She has been in teaching for 20 or so years and she can’t help but compare the students she had before with the students she has now. 

For one thing, very few students today practice basic courtesy.  They can hardly say good morning when they meet their teachers in the corridors or say goodbye after a class.  I even had a student who borrowed my pen during a quiz but didn’t even bother to say thank you upon returning it.

This colleague of mine also mentioned that students now are becoming so self-absorbed that they don’t know how to be helpful.  She remembers her former students helping her carry her things to the faculty room and volunteering to erase the board after a class.  Today, her students do not even bother to give her a hand even when they see her lugging several books to and from the classroom.  It’s such a pity that our youth today do not seem to know the most basic of good manners and right conduct.

Today I also experienced something which also made me feel bad about our students.  A Korean student of mine approached me after my class and told me that his classmates are copying his answers during a test.  I told him to cover his paper always during a test and he said (in halting English) that even if he covers his paper, his classmates literally remove his hand to take a peek – he demonstrated this to me.  I told him then that I have to transfer him to another seat so that his classmates wouldn’t copy from him.  He said it’s okay with him that his classmates copy from him but he feels that it wouldn’t be good for them because they won’t improve.  He then told me about how in Korea they put so much importance in Math that they spend 3 hours per day for the subject.  He also said that the lessons we had were taught in elementary (he is taking Math Special) and yet some of his classmates had difficulty with the lessons.

I just felt so bad that a Korean student witnessed first hand how Pinoy students cheat.  I don’t know if cheating is rampant in Korea, but I know that in our schools, it has become a way of life for most students.  I feel even more the responsibility to shape not just the minds of my students, but also their values.