Managing Teens in class

Bored girl doodling col - TRF.pngI love teenagers!  Not that I don’t like teaching younger students, but teens are my favorite audience by far! Yet, they are such an exhauting audience; they get on my nerves more than often and their attitude is so unpredictable that they usually disconcert me. But, they are soooo willing to be loved, recognized, understood, listened to and considred! Even (I’d say above all) the most difficult, reluctant ones.
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What is certainly hard to manage as a teacher, is that they seem « blasé » whatever you’re proposing in class: « We’ve already studied that, Mam! », « We know that already! ». And however hard it may seem, we have to keep repeating the same basic rules, to make them become, at least for a few hours in our classroom, not only teens but students.

Boy sleeping in class col - TRF.pngOver the past ten years, while working in an underpriviledged middle school, I’ve learnt how to handle these tough kids – as some like to call them – and created lots of helpful documents and worksheets to help them become dedicated and respectful students working in a serene environment.

Back-to-school season is of course dedicated to classroom rules and routines, and what works with younger ones doesn’t work with teenagers. Always remember that being an adult, is – if not always – sometimes associated with being an enemy, and rules associated with constrainsts. If you don’t want your classroom to be considered a prison but need your working space to be dedicated to working instead of playing, chatting and sleeping, you’d better adapt the way you present these rules. As selfie-addicts, our teenagers are really concerned about their image. So I insist on showing them what their attitude in class says about them. And I’ve made a set of posters to illustrate these rules.

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Teaching them how to cooperate and work in teams is another priority. So not only do I insist on condemning bullying, I also show them how to interact in a cooperative way to become even better than they thought they could. Do not forget to work on speech levels when implementing group work or you’ll lose your mind quickly!

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Helping them in their homework and lesson learning is also a key to your success. They won’t see you as an enemy or a boring lecturer but more like a coach or an assistant. Preparing them for high school is my #1 goal without forgetting to be clear and quick, because they get bored so fast!

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And, because not only am I a teacher, but a mother, I’m taking care of them as individuals too. I remind them how important it is to be fit, healthy, to sleep and eat well. #sorry #Imanadult

 

I do hope you have liked reading these tips and I hope they’ll be helpful to you and your teens students. #staytuned

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