Does "Thank You" not mean anything anymore, or was the concept of gratitude officially shifted while I wasn't looking?
For the last four weeks, I've been dealing with students for all kinds of discipline reasons: attendance, rough play/fighting, failure to perform in class, failure to attend detention, blah, blah, blah. Some of them get the worst tongue lashing they've had in years; others are made to feel so guilty for their behavior that I worry I may have poured it on too thick; some even leave my office crying.
Each and every one of them has said the same thing to me as they've left my office: "Thank you." Are they just blithely saying it as they leave my office, as if on some sort of responsive autopilot, or do they actually mean it? I understand that respect for authority is expected, and I'm not really complaining about this, but I don't get it. This hasn't happened in prior years. Many times I've said to myself, "These little brats should be thanking me for setting them straight." I just never thought I'd see the day when it actually happened.
It's a little weird.