.. omfortable. The girl who was being “pushed” was blatently against the idea, her face was red, and I even headed her say several times, “I really don’t want to do this, I feel like a jerk.” Then she tried to bargain with her friends by saying, “I’ll talk to him after Social class, I swear.” But still the girls continued to drag her over to this boy. Then came the words I was waiting to hear, “You don’t want to be the only one at this dance without a date, only the dorky girls go to the spring dance dateless!” Eventually this girl did end up going over to the boy outside. Another example of peer pressure I observed was within a group of boys.
About five or six boys were “daring” one boy to throw an apple at a wall, incidentally, a cafeteria aide was sitting on a stool near-by the alleged wall. The boy who was to be doing the throwing swore that, “he would get caught,” but after a small desput he went along with the idea. About one second after the apple hit the wall, the cafeteria aide pulled him by the arm screaming that she’d “really had enough of this table’s crap this year!”, and that he’d be lucky if he’d get to have lunch in the cafeteria for the rest of the year. Meanwhile, just about all the cafeteria was cheering for him, but he did not seem so happy. There are adolescents that act out with such behavior without apparent pier pressure.
Teenagers may act out rebelliously for a number of reasons, but mainly it’s an act of attention. A student I noticed rebelling against authority was in the classroom. It was during an English class, the teacher asked students to hand in the homework assignment, then gave students an in-class reading assignment. A student I’ll call Tom, began to start conversation with the student next to him. The teacher asked him to be quiet and start the reading.
Tom then told the teacher that he forgot his text book. The teacher looked at him in a way that made me think that this wasn’t the first time Tom forgot his book. The teacher then asked him if he turned in his assignment, and Tom replied “no.” Then the teacher asked him if he speak to him outside. A couple of minuets later they returned, and the teacher handed him a textbook. Tom then began to “rap” a song and keep beat to the music by “playing” his desk.
The teacher once more asked to see Tom outside, only this time in a lot more serious tone. Tom then muttered, “This is bull*censored*,” and pushed his borrowed textbook from the desk, pushed his desk and several others desks on his way out. I herd the teacher and Tom arguing then Tom came in, grabbed his notebook and was sent off to the principle. Adolescent egocentrisim is defined as the inability for teenagers to differentiate between what is important to themselves and what is important to others. Two boys sitting in front of me were preparing to take a test.
The one boy said “Damn, I died on that last test, if I fail this one I swear my father is going to beat my ass.” The other boy said, “God, don’t I know it, I bombed the last one” The first boy then said, “No dude, you don’t know.” “What are you sayin’, I did just as bad on that test.” The first boy then raised his voice and said, “No man, you just don’t get it- I can’t fail.” I chose one girl and one boy to observe closely for thirty minutes. The girl I chose I noticed right away. She was sitting in the cafeteria alone. She had long brown hair and was wearing jeans and a t-shirt. She was an average looking girl and looked as if she may felt a little awkward.
For the first fifteen minuets of lunch she flipped endlessly through her binder, and occasionally took out a piece of paper to read, or to draw on. She never lifted her head up to look around the cafeteria, or to make any eye contact with anyone for that matter. It was at this point that I noticed that this girl didn’t have a lunch with her and never even got up to go get a lunch. I really felt bad for her, she didn’t seem to be very happy or comfortable so I don’t think that she was alone by choice. I wanted to go over and say “hi” to her by the end of the period, but I never did.
About five minutes before the end of lunch this girl got up from her seat and went to wait by the cafeteria door, and as soon as the cafeteria aide would let her, she left. Many of the other kids were slow to leave and often had to be told a few times to get up from their tables. The boy I observed was recommended to me by the principle himself. This being because the principle felt this student reminded him of me when I was fourteen. I arrived to the classroom before any of the students had and the principle re-introduced to an English teacher I once had. He told me the students name and where he sat in the class.
When the students finally entered, the teacher told them that I was a student aide and not to mind me. Within seconds of seeing this boy I realized why he was recommended. He was “in” the obvious popular crowd, although he did have a certain identity of his own. While his friends were talking aimlessly among their own clicuqe, he talked to not only his clicque but outsiders as well. Another key observation was that he made eye contact with everyone he spoke with whereas his peers were much more easily distracted in conversation.
He carried himself in a maturelike fashion as well. He wasn’t loud, or needing to be the center of attention, although conversation was often directed his was. But despite this mature demeanor, he still had the Notorious adolescent vocabulary. When the teacher asked for silence, he responded, whereas a few of his friends still wanted to continue conversation. One situation that was particularly notable was when the students were assigned to depict parts of the sentence structure on the board.
Many of his friends joked around when they were in front of the class and had to be told to focus on the task, whereas he went straight to work when his turn was called. Another thing worth mentioning was that when a not-so-popular student was called to the board, many of my subjects friends were quick to make fun, and he didn’t take part. I am not going to say that he told them to “shut-up,” or anything near as admirable, but during a time when conformity is very important, this boy took a very passive approach. Of the two subjects that I studied I noted that both had characteristics of the normal adolescent, although in very different ways. The girl displayed behavior that is associated with the imaginary audience.
She was very self-conscious, afraid to look around in fear that others might note that she was alone and be the target of their ridicule. I also believe that she is currently in the stage of role confusion, she seems to have doubts about identity and is withdrawn from others almost completly. The boy on the other hand, seemed to be very well adjusted, even more than the average student. I believe that he is at a point of identity achievement, he defiantly appeared to have a higher self-esteem, he had a balance of relationships with his peers and was able to committ himself to tasks that were required of him. I think the George Fischer school is providing a positive learning environment.
The two classrooms both used various techniques to encourage self-development. For example, the teacher at one point had the students work in groups that were formed by him. This not only eliminated students from being left out, but it also encouraged students to get to know one another. Along with this, the value of working with each other towards a common goal was also enforced. Another advantage is that the students attend this school from fifth to eighth grade, therefor eliminating a transition into a junior high school at a time when adolescents are most awkward and insecure with themselves The school also offered various different classes depending on students needs, for example a student that may not have been in a stage of formal operations had different class options then say that of a student in post formal operations.
This students were not required to remain within this tract, but instead could be reassigned the next year. As a whole, I found this school’s resources to be more than adequate, both teachers and services that were provided for students were nurturing for the adolescent. From my observations, I learned a great deal. I forgot how difficult it was to be an adolescent and live by all of the un spoken standards. I also got a chance to observe objectively those students that I hadn’t gotten a chance to really know during my time attending middle school.
I believe that all adolescents have a difficult life during those years whether popular or not but, not all kids suffer as the movies may portray. There are kids who don’t fight with their families. I saw plenty of kids who didn’t act out in any anti-social, rebellious behavior. Many were just having fun, and learning along the way. As far as my self, I learned to look a bit deeper into what I am seeing.
In the approximate ten hours that I had spent there, I answered the questions that I was assigned. So maybe if I put the attnetion into my life that I did this paper the other questions that I have might just get answered easier.