It’s always not easy for both parents and teachers when it comes to handling and controlling students who are in their teens.
Getting their attention, controlling and even making them understand different aspects of their lives can be overwhelming. This is true for teachers when they attempt to help their teen students excel in academics.
However with a strategy, facilitating teens to excel in class can be achievable.
Sylvester Twizerimana, a psychologist and counsellor at Anglican Church of Rwanda in Rubavu District says excelling in academics really comes down to one thing; teachers need to find ways of motivating teenagers to learn.
He says that teenagers can have the greatest learning potential when one knows how to deal with them.
He notes that it can become challenging to motivate and get a class of teenagers in order. But with patience, hard work and perseverance, the results are always the best.
How should they be handled?
In order for teenagers to learn without distraction, Emmanuella Mahoro, a Kigali based psychologist says it’s important to first understand them as a teacher.
First of all, these are children who are going through a lot of changes in terms of physical, mental, emotional and social changes; therefore understanding this helps.
She says that it’s very common for these students to have unpredictable mood swings, which can affect their learning process in general.
“This mostly happens because they are still learning how to control and express emotions maturely. It is therefore important to be aware of this and offer help accordingly,” she says.
Mahoro adds that when dealing with teenage classes, it’s important to create and maintain a good and clear teacher-student relationship.
This, she says will help students open up both at home and school thus making it easier to provide the help that is needed.
She notes that it’s also through this relationship that an instructor gets to know their hobbies even outside school environment. This information can be useful in designing future school activities that will match up with their interests, which will improve their learning in general.
While handling a teenage class, Mathias Nkeeto, a mathematics teacher at Green Hills says as a teacher, it’s always vital to find ways of getting the students’ attention and motivating them to work hard.
Teachers should be creative enough to introduce new tactics of learning that won’t bore students.
“For instance, a teacher can introduce music in the middle of the lesson. Such activities make students come alive which helps break the boredom,” he says.
Twizerimana says it’s vital for the teachers to encourage parents to also get involved in students’ learning and supporting them in general.
“As the saying goes ‘charity begins at home’, parents should learn how to have a positive influence in their children’s lives, so that they can as well respond in a positive way.”
Parents should also show interest in what is going on in their children’s lives.
“With this, teens will open up when they know that they have someone to talk to. They can share their concerns and seek help from their parents,” he says.
He adds that parents should learn proper communication and avoid commanding because this can lead to aggressiveness among the kids.
“Creating relationship with their children’s friends is also important because it helps parents become aware of the kinds of friends that their kids hang around with.”