Constructive Feedback on Writing: Secrets and Illustrations
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Teaching teenage students can be challenging for any teacher. And there are plenty of reasons why.
Your students are likely to be in the middle of the first painful heartbreak or massive argument with their parents while trying to answer your questions or listen to your explanations. Let alone all of the frustrating body changes!
No wonder teens are often thought to be impulsive, noisy, uncontrollable, lazy, unmotivated, inattentive, etc.
Well, maybe. But what if a teenage class requires another approach? What if teaching teens may become rewarding, not exhausting?
Today we are going to talk about one of the most important aspects of teaching teens – classroom management.
Introduce your rules and expectations to your students on the first day of class.
Establishing authority requires being consistent and making as few exceptions as you can. Yes, it may be hard. It may even be met with some disagreement, but as soon as your students get used to your rules, if they see that you follow them no matter what, they will follow them too.
Make a list of things that are the most important for you as a teacher and set your rules. Don’t you want your students to be late all the time? Write it down! Do you think that they overuse their gadgets and are often distracted? Note it!
But bear in mind that by writing these rules you should say no to these habits as well (of course, if you have them).
Don’t be late and stop checking your phone from time to time if you ask your students to come on time and ignore their smartphones during the class.
By imposing some rules you have to become a living example of such a behavior. You can even ask your students to put their signatures under the list and pin it somewhere in the class.
Moreover, you can create such a list together with your students. What if they don’t like something about the teachers too?
Negotiate and agree on your rules. Once you agree on something, demand following it from each other.
Here is my table of rules:
|Be on time.|
|Don’t cheat or copy other people’s work. No AI.|
|Treat everybody in your classroom with respect (your classmates, your teachers, guests, yourself)|
|Keep your language clean.|
|Meet the deadlines.|
What about you? Let us know if you have any rules in the comment section 🙂
Solutions to common problems with the teens
While teaching a lot of people we often forget that it is not only about presenting material efficiently, but also about sincere communication with real humans.
Your students (especially teenagers who only start developing their first passions!) are unique and extremely interesting individuals with their own experiences, viewpoints, and insights. You’ll be able to understand their personalities and the motives behind their beliefs and behaviors more fully as you get to know them.
You may start your term with a quiz on their favorite movies, books, hobbies, places, etc. This will help you to understand your students better or even base some lessons on popular common topics to make lessons more relatable.
One of the finest methods to win your students’ trust and make sure that your classroom works well is to develop a connection with them and really try bonding rather than solely teaching.
However, don’t cross the line between a friendly atmosphere and informality.
Nothing harms discipline more than becoming your students’ friend.
Yes, you can be genuinely interested in their news and lives, and you sure may be supportive and friendly, but you shouldn’t forget that your students are your students, not your pals.
I am sure you recall the emotional ups and downs you experienced as a teenager. Teenagers nowadays have the same emotions.
These are the years when kids are striving so hard to become independent of their parents and establish their own pathways in life. Teenagers are fragile and vulnerable even if they deny it or try to act cool. They have fears, including fears of not being accepted for who they are and of not knowing how to begin living their lives.
Nothing really changes under the sun. It is important to support young people during this difficult period.
Quite often the reason for misbehaving in the class is the desire to be noticed, to be loved and admired.
Therefore, noticing changes and what is even more important reacting to them may solve the problems with behavior and performance.
Once, one girl who was constantly getting bad marks for her tests told me that she was so afraid to make a bad impression and make me disappointed that she was overthinking every single question and didn’t have enough time to complete all of them because of her anxiety.
This story proves that the reason why your student “studies badly” or “behaves inappropriately” is often much deeper than we can even imagine.
Want to be a motivation guard?
When it comes to curriculum nothing works better than personal goals.
Look through your studying plan. Explain what you are going to study and how it is useful for your teenage students.
It is extremely important to explain what exactly your students are going to do with certain information and how they can apply this knowledge to their interests and goals. Teenagers tend to feel more accountable for their own learning when their teacher asks them what they hope to accomplish by the end of the term, year, or in two years.
First, ask your students to list their personal objectives. The students then discuss their objectives in small groups and compare them. Then students might be asked to read through the coursebook to discover which lessons/topics contribute to their goals.
Also, be ready to collect some suggestions and add them to the course.
Undoubtedly, a lot of us were faced with the expressions like “You are so clever, aren’t you?”, or “What do you know! You are just a kid!” back to our teenage years. I am also sure that everybody remembers how such treatment made them feel.
The thing is that teenagers seek respect from adults. We have learnt a lot since then. But the main lesson is the following: your students may seem like children to you but they want to be treated and thought of as grownups.
So why don’t we just really pay attention to what they have to say? By respecting your students’ opinions and not treating them like childish or unworthy you develop students’ confidence and decrease their anxiety about expressing themselves or making mistakes in class.
In addition, students become more motivated to participate in classroom activities. If you are interested in learning more about making your classes more engaging for teenagers, join our course!
Practical tips on motivating teens
Teenagers frequently struggle to focus on a subject for a long period of time. This is due to a teen’s prefrontal cortex, which is still growing and is responsible for memory, judgment, attention, and self-regulation.
Professionals advise to switch up the surroundings as much as possible to keep adolescents’ attention. And honestly, do we really need to spend all our studying time in the classroom?
Why don’t you organize an essay presentation day instead of just collecting them and awarding some grades? Why don’t you cook something while studying cooking vocabulary?
The list of activities you can create for your students is endless. In the end, it just turns out that the classroom limits us more than helps us.
Every educator will agree that seeing the initiative of a teenage student is an extremely rare situation.
Therefore, our task is to spot it and use it, give it an opportunity to grow into something meaningful and beneficial.
Be attentive to your students and always try to give them a chance to express themselves, their ideas and wishes.
Try to support them with their projects and ambitions, guide them if they need it. Be sure that supporting your students’ initiative and passion will result in personal growth, improvement of the skills and desire to study further to become a better version of themselves.
And now let’s check our ideas on classroom management for teens with our test!
It’s not that important to follow the rules you set for students.
Teenage students should be treated as adults.
Teenage students have no problems with focusing.
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