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Tag: teenagers

Discussing Disappointing Grades with a Teen

When schoolwork starts to slip, stress levels tend to rise for both teens and their parents. In the upper grades, academic progress can have a direct impact on things like job prospects and getting into college. This can make discussing disappointing grades with a teen even more stressful.

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Avoiding Device Hypocrisy with Teenagers

If you are a teacher or a parent looking to break through a teenager’s screen addiction, nothing is more important than avoiding device hypocrisy yourself.

Technology is everywhere. Digital communication (and the reliance on the devices that go with it) has become a crucial part of the professional and personal lives of most adults. Teenagers see this and are quick to use it to justify their own compulsions to constantly stay logged into their own digital lives. Continue reading

Cultivating a Learning Culture that Empowers Students

As a middle school social studies teacher, one of the very first things I teach my students each year is a unit on culture. Sure, the concept of culture is first up on my curriculum guide, but the overarching concept of culture is something that is essential to setting the tone for a productive year.

We begin the unit as most would expect: we define culture, we identify our own cultural markers, and we examine the cultural makeup of key civilizations throughout history.

But then we take a turn. I shift the conversation from cultural identification to cultural activism; we look at how the problem of cultural extinction is rapidly changing the face of our world. The students engage with stories from the past and from the present about how real people are faced with the challenge of carrying on and preserving cultures that are fading away forever.

For my students, the culture unit is no longer about defining cultural elements, it becomes about cultivating and preserving cultures in the face of increased globalization.

This may seem like a heady ask for a room full of 12-year-olds (…and it is), but by infusing a sense of agency into the learning, students buy in. They aren’t learning because they have to, they engage because they have a felt need to learn. By learning about culture in this type of classroom environment, I am setting the table for a classroom culture that will empower my students to be active learners.

Empowered learning is engaged learning

This trend of trying to motivate students to learn from an intrinsic place can be truly challenging. I have spent time as a part of a Learner Active Technology Infused Classroom (LATIC) cohort over the past three years that has worked to try to bring about this fundamental shift in our respective classroom pedagogies. It’s a lot of work, but it’s important work.

The studies are out there, but any educator who has had the experience of watching a student or even an entire classroom of students chasing knowledge knows the impact of a learner-driven environment.

In order to do so, whether it is in a classroom or a small group tutoring environment, there are a litany of considerations that need to be made:

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What Makes a College Applicant Stand Out?

Since long before the Common App, students have been looking to gain an edge in the college admission process. The problem is a simple case of supply and demand: each year droves of students apply for a finite number of seats at the best colleges and universities. Some get in;  many more do not.

So what’s the secret? How can a student position him or herself to be one of the select few who receives a fat acceptance envelope instead of a flimsy one filled with disappointment?

It’s actually less complicated than you might think.

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7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens

Sean Covey made a big splash in the world of self-help writing with his best-selling 1989 book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Often placed on a pedestal next to other classics like Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, Covey’s 7 Habits… created a recipe for personal and professional success that has transformed the lives of those who have read and followed its sage, yet practical advice.

The concepts are simple ones, yet can take on powerful meaning with the right perspective.

 

The Teenage Take

Covey has followed up on the success of 7 Habits… with a variety of other books built around numbered lists of habits, decisions, and reflections. One of the best of these follow-ups is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens.

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