I accept that the world has changed since I was in high school. But really, it amazes me the stuff kids know nothing about.
Letter writing is a thing of the past. I gave an assignment this week that included writing four letters. Over half the class didn't realize that a salutation and signature were a standard part of all letters. They've never written a letter! Another assignment required them to do some research in the library. I said I wanted them to use books. Real paper books. No internet, no google, no computer. Find information in the books. This was next to impossible. The librarian and I both were busy the entire period, showing teenagers how to use encyclopedias, the Dewey decimal system, and how to use several books on the same general topic to research something.
Today I gave notes in class. I figured it would be easy. I write on the board, and read it as I write, they just need to copy it down. Oh, the whining! "It's too much!" "I can't write that fast!" "Why can't you just photocopy them for us?" "Why do we need to know this stuff?"
A student asked me today, "Mrs. F., what's "arithmetic"?
Maybe it's just me, but I think it's time to review the basics. The kids not only are failing the three R's, they can't even identify the three R's!