Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Teenagers in the Classroom (1)

Noisy and laughing every time, that’s my teenager class!

There are 13 students in my class. They’re about 12-14 years old and in their first and second year in junior high school. When my principal gave me this class, I was afraid I couldn’t handle them but she encouraged me that I could. Then, after I met them, I fell in love with them! Even sometimes they make me crazy!

I find there are some problems teaching teenagers. Since they’re in their puberty, you’ll face some refusals, especially when you pair or group them with other students. For example, a girl student will refuse to be in pair with the boy and vice versa. As a teacher, you’ll also get protests from the student when you ask them to do some tasks or explain something but they disagree with it. Actually, all of these can be a serious problem if you don’t know how to handle them.

So, how to cope with these problem, miss?

Well, there’re some tips on how to handle these problems.

Be their friend, but….

It sounds easy but actually not that easy. You have to find out what they like and don’t like. Try to listen to their songs, read their favourite books, follow the latest trend, and anything that related to their life like school, computer game, and so on. From there, you can start a good conversation with them and they will feel that you really give them attention. The result, you’ll get their heart and build a good teacher-student relationship. But be careful! Even though you’re their friend, it doesn’t mean that you can give them freedom to do whatever they want.

Discipline them!

Even you’re very close to your students, you can’t let them break the rules! There should be a clear boundary between you as a teacher and as a friend. Always remind them about the rules and the punishments you’ve made since the first meeting, e.g. punctuation, behaviour, clothes, etc. If they break the rules, give them punishment. Don’t spoil them! As a new teacher, sometimes you let them break the rules because you want to take their heart. Be careful teacher! This can be a start of a chaos in your class. Strict to your rules! Although you’re a new teacher, show them that you’re the leader.

To be continued...

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