Updated: Jun 3
Being a teenager is one of the most difficult stages of our life. Teenagers would face difficulties since they are in the stage when they are trying to figure out their identity and try to fit in. If being at this stage is difficult, imagine dealing with more than a dozen of teenagers in a classroom setup and trying to teach them something that is not event their interest. Parents are no different.
Here is a list of books high school students grades 9-12 can read over the summer break. It is suggested that students read 3 or more books from differing genres, but the books need not be chosen from this list exclusively, as it is by no means exhaustive. Link
If you are a new teacher or parent, then adjusting or dealing with teenagers could be very difficult but also a challenging experience. Some new teachers would say that teenagers can smell fear a mile away. When you are teaching teenagers, first impressions are very important. You would like to appear that you are a professional, set boundaries, be knowledgeable in your field and that you are there to help them.
Of course as an adult you would also like to project that they could approach or ask for your guidance and advices, you are not only their teacher or parent for their academic subjects. You are also their life coach per example. You can act goofy sometimes, and even inject humour into your classes. But be sure that you would make them understand that there are limitations, when they have to get down to their lessons then that should mean business. These moments are called boundaries.
When teaching teen-agers you could incorporate pop culture into your lessons to make it more interesting. Some experts said that a teen's attention span could last as long as 5 minutes. But with numerous and different kinds of media around us, the attention span of teens are continuously decreasing. What better way to capture your studentís interest other than using medium that they really like. For example: songs, sports and other kind of entertainment. So it would be great, if you would also be updated with new trends in culture.
Aside from using different kinds of media form for instruction, you could also use or maximize having fillers or ice breakers in class. This would snap them out of the daydreaming and put them back into their lessons. You can even include interactive activities or games, you just have to make sure that rules and objectives are clear. This would help in avoiding any kind of misunderstanding between students and teachers.
Although, teenagers do not accept it easily, making them work with others would make it easier for them. When breaking teenagers into groups, you just have to have a plan that would allow you to monitor them easily and aside from that encourage them to do collaborative work.
Some teachers would just teach or instruct their students, not fostering any kind of active participation. It would be surprising for some teachers that teenagers would know a lot about something. So, allow your students to bring their knowledge inside the classroom. It would surprise you that they can share a lot and educate their classmates about numerous things.
When asking them to work into project, give or allow them to explore their creativity and express themselves. You can display the projects inside the classroom. Just like when you are teaching any level, positive reinforcement means a lot. So give them a pat in the back for a job well done. You can use positive and encouraging words rather than use words that single out their weaknesses and tend to humiliate them in front of the classmates and peers.
Teaching, regardless of any level, is a very rewarding experience. But do not get too depressed if your expectations are not met or they are not responding in the manner that you hope that they would. They may not say it, but you may be leaving a huge impact on their lives.