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Gen Z And Millennial Teachers Say 'iPad Kids' Are Poorly Behaved & Impossible To Teach

Photo: wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock
teacher struggling to teach misbehaved children

While there are certainly positive and rewarding aspects of becoming a teacher, every teacher understands the negative sides of the profession that they’re signing up for — misbehaved kids, angry parents and a lack of support from the school, not to mention a salary that leaves much to be desired

But nowadays, many teachers are seriously struggling to maintain control and respect in the classroom due to Generation Alpha’s lack of discipline and manners.

Gen Z and millennial teachers are speaking out about the ‘defiant’ and ‘aggressive’ behavior of Gen Alpha 'iPad Kids.' 

Teresa Kaye Newman, a 36-year-old teacher who has taught millennials, Gen Z and now Gen Alpha, took to TikTok to express her serious concern for Gen Alpha students, also labeled as ‘iPad kids,’ in the classroom.

Newman claimed Gen Alpha children, those born from 2010-2025, have no respect for their teachers, or anyone at all, and lack discipline, education standards, literacy and socialization skills.

   

   

“Having to teach and work with you guys as children has been the most traumatic experience of my life,” one young teacher expressed in a TikTok. “You ask them, ‘Can you stand in your designated spot?’ They’re telling you ‘No’ and ‘Shut up.’ They're throwing things at each other, they're throwing things at other people.” 

Newman said this has become an overarching problem with every Gen Alpha student that needs to be acknowledged, and it’s not the children’s fault.

“The problem is we have this generation of parents that doesn't want to take accountability for not doing what they need to do to raise kids that are self-sufficient, that are socialized or kind,” Newman expressed.

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Gen Alpha students are likely struggling to behave due to the changes and events their generation was born into.

Unfortunately, Gen Alpha was born into the digital age, where children have been raised in an ever-changing society filled with new technology and social media, and few restrictions around screen time. When the pandemic occurred and schools resumed remotely, they were left with even more isolation and screen time, and these impacts have shaped the lives of this impressionable generation and stunted their growth emotionally, mentally and socially. 

These kids are lacking the traditional and natural experience of spending their childhood outside with other kids their age, and they are filled with pent-up energy with no other outlet for it but their classrooms.

young boy using ipadPhoto: Ternavskaia Olga Alibec / Shutterstock

Instead of being raised to be curious, kind and respectful, these children lack self-control and emotional regulation. The effect of excessive electronic use has altered the development of this young generation, stunting their social skills and academic performance. 

On top of that, their millennial parents have had little interference between their children and their screens, likely due to a lack of time because of their busy work schedules and the state of our economy. These children are subsequently lacking basic manners and literacy skills. 

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Gen Alpha’s behavior is a result of being raised with a lack of parental guidance and discipline, and millennial parents are struggling to see the problem.

Parents aren’t understanding the issue teachers are addressing as a community, and they are resorting to calling teachers ‘old and jaded,’ accusing them of demonizing their children, and brushing off their kids’ behaviors as ‘kids being kids.’ 

In reality, many new teachers are part of Gen Z, and this younger community is making sure they will raise their children differently.

In another TikTok video, Newman explained how millennial parents refuse to see the flaws in their parenting, and this behavior closely resembles that of baby boomer parents who also often refuse to acknowledge their poor parenting choices.  

Newman further explained how millennial parents grant excessive screen time to their children, not because it’s in their children’s best interest, but because it's in adults’ best interest. It’s telling that these parents have tried to take the easy way out of parenting by shoving screens in their kids' faces to keep them quiet and distracted, but all this has done is enable their children to become reliant on technology.

   

   

“You're sending them to school and pawning off that addiction on teachers because when we ask them to sit there and listen to instructions, or complete an activity that doesn't have to do with technology, we can't get it done with them,” Newman explained. “And they are having complete meltdowns because they don't know how to function without having a screen in their hand.”

According to Newman, Gen Alpha students believe there are no consequences for their rude actions, and they don’t care about completing tasks or doing well academically. 

Our teachers are now responsible for their education, but they have little power and control over their classrooms anymore, and Gen Alpha is “being conditioned to believe that they are immune to consequences.”

“Gen Alpha have been raised to believe they are grown folks, that they can speak to whoever they want however they want, that violence is the answer,” Newman said. “Gen Alpha students are raised in a world that tells them that it's okay to be as nihilistic and individualistic as possible.”

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Newman emphasized this issue is greater than older generations just complaining about younger generations, and teachers are genuinely concerned. 

She said millennial parents are doing a great “disservice to their future,” and something needs to be done.

“We cannot even begin to talk about solutions until we admit there's a problem,” Newman said. “We cannot raise a generation of kids that are this tuned out.”

It can be difficult for parents to acknowledge when they've made mistakes, and let’s face it, it is not easy to raise a child. But it’s important to take note of what is affecting your children and how you can do better to give them the best possible education and future. Teachers from everywhere are chiming in to address the severity of this impending issue, and parents need to be aware of the influence technology has had on their children.

“It is always going to be easier to put a kid in front of a screen and give them something overstimulating to watch,” she said, “But it's not going to help them in the long run, and if you sat in a classroom for just one day, one week with 30 other kids from other parents and other households, you would see the correlation.”

Restrictions around screen time are seriously needed, and children require adequate guidance on how to treat others. It seems kids are no longer cognizant of the phrase, “treat others how you want to be treated,” and their disorderly behavior can lead to a frightening future. 

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Francesca Duarte is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team based in Orlando, FL. She covers lifestyle, human-interest, and spirituality topics.