School therapist says students don’t know ‘basic’ information about themselves


‘I’ve even had students that don’t know their last name!’: School therapist says students don’t know ‘basic’ information about themselves

'I still remember my home number and grandparents’ numbers from 15 years ago.'


Brooke Sjoberg


Posted on Nov 17, 2023   Updated on Nov 17, 2023, 10:11 am CST

The current state of education is a common topic on TikTok, where current and former educators have spoken about the struggles their students are having.

From teachers sharing that their students have fallen behind in reading comprehension on a broad scale, to performing far below developmentally appropriate levels of achievement, teachers are airing concerns about the education received by their students over the past few years.

In a TikTok that has drawn over 373,000 views as of Friday, school-based therapist @yourejustjelly says that it has gotten to the point where children do not know when they were born or where they live.

“I work as a virtual school-based therapist and we are seeing this even outside the classroom,” she says in the video. “Part of my job when I’m first meeting students, I’m asking them very basic questions about themselves just to make sure I have their information right. Let me just tell you, these kids, they can’t even answer questions about themselves.”

More recently, she says she had a student who did not know when their birthday was and could not remember what year they were born. The student, of mid-elementary school age, then had to be coached through basic subtraction to calculate their birthdate.

Students also do not generally know what their address is, she says, despite being at a developmentally appropriate age to retain this information.

@yourejustjelly #stitch with @QBSkiiii and this was not the first time something like this happened #studentsarebehind #therapistsontiktok #socialworkers #publicschools ♬ original sound – Jel

The Daily Dot has reached out to @yourejustjelly via TikTok direct message regarding the video.

Some viewers commented that they worked in education and had noticed many students did not know this information about themselves.

“I teach 4th grade and SOOO many kids don’t know their birthdays or year they were born,” one commenter wrote. “I’ve even had students that don’t know their last name!!”

“As a 2nd grade teacher, this has become common in recent years,” another said. “I have to go into the computer to look it up. Their passwords are their initials and birthdays. So I can’t keep looking it up.”

“Most of my students don’t know their full names, birthdays, phone #, address, or even their parents or sibling names…k-2,” one echoed.

Multiple viewers shared that while growing up, they were required to know all of this information and more.

“Like it was a requirement for my kindergarten that we knew our address, phone number, parents names everything,” one commenter wrote.

“My parents had us recite a little speech – ‘my name is _, I live at, my mommy’s name is, my daddys name is, their phone numbers are,’ etc,” another shared.

“The landline number for my home has been out of service since ’06 and i still remember it perfectly because my parents drilled it into my head,” one commented.

Share this article
*First Published: Nov 17, 2023, 2:00 pm CST