What implication/s will the emotional and psychological needs of adolescents have on your teaching of later years students?
The rapid physical, cognitive and socio-emotional development of later year students will drive how I teach and essentially how we relate to one another.
In late adolescence, students:
- Are physically, at about the age of 15 for girls and 17 for boys, at sexual maturity and adult height.
- Brains are going through an important change; mylination continues in parts used in sophisticated though processes, allowing them to see the world in new ways and detecting abstract principles. At the same time incites new interests and a taste for risk-taking and adventure. (Abbott-Chapman, Denholm & Wyld, 2008).
- Cognitively, in-depth study of academic subject areas along with the need to consider career tracks and job prospects.
- Socio-emotionally, they are increasing independence, questioning rules and societal norms and exploring life philosophies. Regulation of the emotions improves.
The implications for me as a teacher include:
- I am prepared to listen
- Allow choices in academic subjects and assignments but hold adolescents to high standards of performance.
- Help form goals for the future and explore higher education opportunities and career paths.
- Arrange opportunities for community involvement, volunteering, etc.
- Encouraging ways of regulating emotions, and coping strategies like sharing our problems, exercising and doing things we like and that build our self-esteem.
- Developing a peer mediation program can help foster interpersonal skills.
- Reflecting on Erik Erikson’s theory of psychosocial stages of development also gives insight into internal thoughts and conflicts and can explain the emotional actions of teenagers.
- I inform and keep parents and family in the loop
Above all, I need to:
“Show sensitivity to their individual variations from those patterns. “In other words, teachers engage in developmentally appropriate practice – education and care-giving adapted to the age, characteristics and developmental progress of individual children” (McDevitt, Omrod, Cupit, Chandler & Aloa, 2013, p. 24).