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  • Writer's pictureWilliam Malpass

How to Horrify Teenagers

I'm a Junior ROTC teacher in a large public high school near Houston, Texas. Here's a picture of the school where I teach:

This place seems so peaceful, but notice there're no students pictured anywhere.

Like Whitney Houston, I believe the children are our future. Over the years of doing this teacher gig, I've learned a few things about relating to youngsters 13 to 19 years of age—the so-called "Post-Millennials." Permit me to share from the deep, deep reservoirs of my knowledge.

  • The kids love the YouTube. If you don't feel like teaching today, slap in a few school-appropriate search terms, and voila, instant educational content streamed to eager, bright-eyed learners. (Editor's note for Will's principal: Will has heard rumors other teachers use this technique, sir. Personally, Will always feels like delivering the finest in high-quality lessons for the wonderful children under his tutelage.)

  • Learn the lingo. These youngsters will really look up to you if you learn their lingo. So say things like:

  • "Whaddup, dawg?" and

  • "It's lit, fam!" and maybe even

  • "I wuz snapchatting with my squad, bro. Yeah, we wuz checkin' out some dank memes, homes!"

Remarks like these show you are fostering an environment of caring and mutual respect. It doesn't really matter if you don't understand what you're saying—teenagers simply appreciate the effort.

  • Be cautious, though! If you forget the exact phrasing of the lingo, you risk significant blow back from a disillusioned young person. So if you want to completely horrify a teenager, just say something like:

  • "What's happening in your world this sunny day, young fellow?"

  • "I notice it's completely illuminated, person with whom I wish to be friendly!"

  • "I recently used social media with others in my close circle of companions. We examined silly videos of kitty cats and other outrageous online content! Hilarious, my friend!"

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