If you haven't read it, please check out John Green's speech that he gave for the ALAN Conference. It is really inspiring and eye-opening. He once again proves his awesomeness and gives English teachers the credit they truly deserve. Also, he emphasizes the importance of giving teenagers the benefit of the doubt. They are smart, intelligent, and can "get it." But John says it much better than I ever could, so stop listening to me ramble and get on over to his site!
"...we know that young people can rise to intellectual challenges. I know because the course of my life was altered by teachers who challenged me, who assumed I was smart and refused to acknowledge otherwise despite considerable evidence. We know the importance of never selling kids short and never selling them out, because I’d imagine we’ve all seen our lives changed by teachers who believed in us." --John Green