I feel like no matter how much thought I put into making a good and fair assignment, there is always someone who is displeased. Even if I give a clear indication of how the assignment will be assessed by giving students a rubric in advance, students still complain when they don't get a "good enough" grade. An A is what they want, but they don't really want to put forth the effort and thought that it takes to earn an A.
This is upsetting for two reasons. As previously stated, I detest conflicts even it if is with people whose brains aren't fully developed yet. More detrimental to society, though, is the fact that students don't want to learn, they just want to earn. "How many points is this worth?" "Can I have extra credit?" It seems like so many students are doing the work simply because they have to in order to get the points. There is no curiosity, no desire to learn for learning's sake.
As I typed that last sentence, I had my adolescent self in my mind. Did I go to school to learn? Or did I go because that is what was expected of me? I'm sure that I wasn't very interested in much of what my high school had to offer. I was self-absorbed and concerned with my social life. I liked reading, and I enjoyed my English classes, but I'm not sure that my motivation for attending school was to expand my mind and encounter novel and diverse ideas.
Okay. Perhaps the end of our society as we know it isn't nearing because my students don't appreciate reading Huck Finn. Perhaps society is continuing as it always has with egocentric teens who eventually develop into English teachers who desperately want their students to love what they love.