Make a Positive Impact on Your High School Students Education With These Tips
High school teachers do not have easy shoes to fill, as an integral part of preparing teenagers for adulthood. Not only are they responsible for educating these young adults, they need to be able to engage with them in a way so that they are willing to learn and participate in new experiences. This is an age group who are at a major turning point in their lives, and despite needing guidance are more often prone to turning away from the adult figures in their life.
Be Up to Date on Trends – Teachers of high school students shouldn’t be showing up to school in a Jay-Z t-shirt, but they should at least know who he is. Opening the doors of communication with teenagers about important issues such as school progress and plans for the future often starts best with conversations about their likes and dislikes. Being able to chat about recent movies, popular TV shows or current music helps in beginning a conversation that will than lead to more pressing topics.
Use Media That Teenagers are Comfortable With – Face to face conversations have become somewhat of a novelty these days, making kids more comfortable with chatting on social media sites or through SMS messaging on their cell phones. Use these new forms of communication as an opportunity to send project assignments, details about upcoming exams or reminders of upcoming events. Teachers should not have a personal Facebook page or Twitter account that is visible to their students, but they can set one up that is meant specifically for their students. They can also use a school notification system such as DialMyCalls to take advantage of being able to send SMS text messages to an entire class at the same time.
Learn to Listen – If you want your high school students to excel as adults, you need to be an active listener. It takes a lot for kids of this age to open up to an adult, and any sign of disinterest will only result in them shutting adults out even further. Show your full interest in what they are saying by providing eye contact and responding appropriately. Many times, all a teenager really needs is for someone to hear them out without judgment or criticism.
Be Engaging in the Classroom – Not only are the one on one conversations difficult to achieve, teaching teenagers in the classroom is also a hurdle for high school teachers. Lectures usually go unheard, as your students minds drift to upcoming dates, where to go for lunch, and what to wear to the party Friday night. Instead of having lectures in the classroom make your lessons interactive, with students needing to actively participate. Ask questions frequently, give rewards for correct responses, and even allow for the students to take over your role in front of the class if they are knowledgeable about the subject matter.
Passionate high school teachers are those who end up making a positive impression on their students for the rest of their lives. Strive for this in your career by being creative in your communication methods with teenagers, and they will grow to make a positive impact in their own lives.
By Mary Donovan, DialMyCalls Account Manager