By Nour Eddine Baba
By Nour Eddine Baba
Morocco World News
Tinghir, Morocco, March 16, 2012
Ask any parent, teacher, or children’s psychologist and they will all agree on one thing: teenage years are a period of great perplexity and confusion for boys and girls in the 14-18 age group. As the pre-teen years come to an end, teenagers experience hormonal, physical and emotional changes that often lead them to engage in questionable behavior where they indulge their every whim. Teenagers often feel invincible and are unable to distinguish between harmful and beneficial behavior.
Often intransigent, teenagers seek complete independence of thought and action and forgo the advice of parents, guardians and other authority figures. Studies have shown that high school students are the most vulnerable to the chaos of teenage years and are therefore more rebellious than any other age group. So what or whom is the cause of the unruly behavior of teenagers? Is it the chemical imbalances in teenage bodies? Is it the parents? Are teachers to blame?
When surveyed about classroom misbehavior, most teachers placed the blame squarely on students. Rarely do teachers admit to their deficiencies as educators as possibly causing or contributing to the lack of proper behavior by students. Some teachers never conduct a self-examination to determine student misbehavior is caused by a teacher’s negative attitude, ineffective teaching styles or weak communication skills. Rather than engage in effective analysis of the root cause of misbehaving students, some teachers become jaded and quite cavalier in their response. They fail to appreciate that a student could be acting up as a way of communicating a request for help. Perhaps the behavior is meant to point out a teacher’s indifference.
No matter the cause of improper teenage behavior, the more relevant issue is the response by educators. When students arrive to a classroom, they bring so much with them. In addition to peer pressure, teenagers often experience family and societal problems that weigh heavily on their young minds and lead them to destructive behavior. While there is no expectation of teachers to also be social workers, they are often seen as the only outlet of support for struggling teens. As such, teachers should think outside the box and attempt friendly and mature approaches in dealing with misbehaving students, as opposed to the usual tradition of punishment and expulsion from the classroom.
Teenagers will be teenagers! There is very little that parents, teachers, psychologists or anyone else could do to prevent them from acting in a manner that is typical for their age. Instead of fighting them, teachers should try a healthy mix of listening, open and honest dialogue, creative responses to needs and sympathy and attention to all students.
Edited by Hicham Elkoustaf
Picture credit: Pistorio Foundation
Nour Eddine Baba is a teacher of English in Tinghir, south east of Morocco. He obtained his B.A in TEFL&ICT at Ibn Zohr University in Agadir. He was a member of Journalism Club at ALC in Agadir and published in the ALC magazine “oasis”. He is keen on politics, journalism and global issues.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy.
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