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Posts Tagged ‘Teens’

7 Things a Quiet Student Wishes Their Teacher Knew

August 26, 2014

quiet

A brilliant list courtesy of the extraordinarily talented teenager. Marsha Pinto:

 

1. Being quiet doesn’t make us any less smart

Teachers don’t understand how frustrating it can get reading the comment, ” _____ is a great student but he/she doesn’t participate in class.”

Remember that still waters run deep. I know that some teachers like to base grades on participation, but if you could only hear all the great ideas we have inside our head, you’d learn that we have some great ideas to share. In fact, we are practically masters of brainstorming.

However, it’s difficult for us to master the art of jumping in to a conversation or interrupting. We may not raise our hands as quickly as you want us to or say as much as you wanted us to, but honestly we just like to take our time to process our ideas. Does it even make a difference if we write more than we speak?

2. We are not a problem that you need to solve.

So, we may not have participated on the first day, or the second day or the first three months of school but please don’t keep pestering us about when we’re going to talk. Sometimes there isn’t a reason why we are so quiet, it’s just part of who we are. Many people tend to assume that quiet people are stuck in this quiet prison and need to be rescued so that we can enjoy life. I can assure that this is not always the case. We quiet students are quite content with the way we are… until you start pointing out our faults. We often do not need the “help” you are suggesting, we just need your patience and understanding.

3. The feeling that comes with the hearing the phrase, “Speak up! I can’t hear you.”

It was daunting enough when you caught us off-guard and put us on the spot to answer that question in front of the entire class, so please don’t embarrass us any further. We wish you only knew how much effort we put into taking the initiative to speak up.

If you can’t hear something we said please help us out, come closer and listen carefully to what we are trying to say. Please don’t belittle us in front of a crowd of people because that will do more harm than help.

4. Group projects can get really stressful for us:

Sometimes we’re in a class where we don’t have any friends and other times you assign us to a group of people whom we do not even know. There’s nothing wrong with group work and the benefits are no doubt important for our future, however quiet students are often taken advantage of in group projects. To prevent this from happening, teachers need to assign each person in the group a role, rather than allowing students to assign each other’s role.

5. We are not going to speak when we have nothing to say.

Teachers don’t understand that quiet students believe that it’s not necessary to talk when you have nothing to say. No we are not being rude, it’s just that we believe that there’s no need to force out a couple of words just for the sake of doing so. You have no idea how much time we spend trying to formulate our speech before we actually say it out loud.

We like taking our time to formulate our thoughts rather than rushing to speak. We hope someday you will understand this.

6. We have a personality.

Teachers, we know you don’t see us as the quote and quote ideal student, but if you really came to look beyond our quiet ways you’d come to realize that there’s much more to us than meets the eye. We are writers, dreamers, creators and a lot of other things you may think we never could be. We’d like to love ourselves for who we are and not grow-up to hate ourselves. Do not treat us any differently. We’re normally people who laugh, cry, have crazy obsessions, dislikes and embarrassing moments. Who knows? Maybe we even have more in common with you than you think.

7. Just because we’re quiet, doesn’t’ mean you have to give up on us.

Teachers often assume that it’s not worth talking to or getting to know the quiet students because they don’t have anything to say hence they don’t have potential. However, there are a few teachers, who will take those few extra steps to the back of the classroom to connect with the quiet student rather than judge them from a distance. We quiet students may not say much at first, but trust me we do appreciate you taking the effort.

Teachers and students may not see eye to eye when it comes to most things, but what both sides don’t realize is that they could learn a lot from each other. You may ask yourself, ” What can I learn from someone who hardly speaks?”

Well, you can learn the importance of active listening. A quality slowly going instinct when so many distractions keep us from being in the moment and truly listening to what someone has to say.

Quiet students hope that someday teachers everywhere will be able to appreciate the uniqueness we bring to the classroom and not make assumptions without really getting to know us.

The word “teacher” is a verb, not a noun. Hence this year, I encourage all teachers to break the barriers that separate them and their students and to create an inviting atmosphere where no student should hold back being themselves for fear of rejection. Teachers should aim to bring an accommodating atmosphere to the classroom where both extroverts and introverts can share their ideas and reach their potential without feeling pressurized. Your students might not thank you in- person, or write it in a card or note, but some day they may express their gratitude in an acceptance speech and thank you for giving the wallflower a chance to shine.

 

Click on the link to read Skills That Aren’t Taught But Should Be: #1 People Skills

Click on the link to read Top 10 Most Unusual School Bans

Click on the link to read Rules that Restrict the Teacher and Enslave the Student

Click on the link to read This is What I Think of the No Hugging Rule at Schools

Click on the link to read Political Correctness at School

Click on the link to read What Are We Doing to Our Kids?

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Bullying from a Teenager’s Perspective

August 6, 2014

bullying

Courtesy of clinical psychologist Barbara Greenberg:

 

Hello Parents,

Your teens are getting ready to head back to high school and some of them are just beginning as freshmen. All summer long, I have been working with focus groups of teens and they have been talking to me and to each other and have been quite candid about their thoughts about bullying. They have shared their most intimate experiences, their concerns and their very creative ideas about how to deal with bullies.

This is what your kids want you to know about the bullying experience, but might never tell you. You see, they don’t want to upset you, disappoint you, worry you and are even concerned that you might not be interested. They are wrong. I know that but they don’t. Here is what they are not telling you:

1. The majority of your teens report that while they may not have been bullied, they have witnessed a peer being bullied.

2. They have not always been sure how to intervene at these times, but they have ideas.

3. They frequently and in large numbers report that an adult should be told about bullying incidents, but feel that even when they tell adults the adults are NOT likely to intervene effectively. They report that adults look the other way, don’t take bullying seriously enough and even give meaningless consequences to the bully.

4. By and large, the well-spoken and passionate teens feel that the adults are letting them down in this arena. YIKES. I know that no adult in a position to help teens wants to be seen as ineffective and dismissive.

5. Your kids have some very creative ideas about how to handle bullies including:

a. attempting to befriend them in the hope that a bully can become an ally.

b. making the bully laugh so that the bully learns a different style of interacting.

c. letting the bully know the impact that they are having on others. Many teens feel that bullies are clueless about their painful impact on others.

d. asking them about their lives. Many teens feel that bullies are probably hurting. It’s amazing isn’t it that teens feel empathy for bullies?

AND

e. they have even expressed that you raise your kids to have empathy so that they are less likely to act in a socially aggressive and emotionally painful manner. These large groups of male and female teens have been telling me all summer long that they are concerned that some parents may inadvertently be raising bullies.

Your teens would also like you to know that:

1. They see many parents acting as bullying role models for their kids. They worry that you may be encouraging exclusivity, cliquey behavior and even physical aggression. Teens are and always have been watching the adults around them.

2. They think that adults should curtail gossiping because kids mimic them and gossiping is one of the worst and most hurtful forms of social bullying. They are on to something here; aren’t they?

3. They worry that you are bullying your kids in the privacy of your homes and that your kids are going to school upset, frustrated and looking for a place in which to practice what they have learned at home.

AND

4. They are concerned that you might not even have given consideration to the idea that your own kid may be the bully. They think that you should consider this idea and work with your teen to be a kinder and more empathic individual.

I do not want to leave you with the impression that teens all blame the adults in their lives for the bullying behaviors of teens. Many teens reported learning empathic and pro-social behaviors from their parents. Amen to the child-rearing style in those homes. We need more of that. We need parents to realize that you are your teens’ most important role models. I have been saying this for years. Take this important opportunity in your life to teach your kids that their words and behaviors can either soothe and comfort or destroy the hearts and souls of their peers. Do not ever rule out the thought that your own child may be the bully at times and if you suspect this then work with your child to change this behavior.

We all remember own experiences being both the bullies and the bullied. None of us flourished from these experiences. In fact, many of us became emotionally and physically sick during these times. Your kids and I are calling upon you to be aware of your role and power in helping to both raise good kids and to become even more aware of the terrible interactional cycle of bullying that continues to persist in high schools all over.

Good luck.

Own your power.

Help your kids.

XO

Dr. BG

 

Click on the link to read Girl Gets taped and tied to tree and ‘sexually assaulted’: Where Were the Teachers?

Click on the link to read Start Being Proactive When it Comes to Bullying
Click on the link to read The Real “Mean Girls”

Click on the link to read Anti-Bullying Song Goes Viral

Click on the link to read Some Schools Just Don’t Get it When it Comes to Bullying

Click on the link to read The Bystander Experiment (Video)

 

30 Per Cent of Teens Have Sent Naked Images of Themselves Online: Report

July 18, 2012

If this survey is a reflection of teenagers as a whole, we have a lot of work to do:

Parents who don’t think their teens are sexting may be in for a rude awakening.

Nearly 30 percent of teens say they’ve sent nude photos of themselves via text or E-mail, according to a study published earlier this month in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Another 57 percent report being asked to send naked pictures, according to the study, which surveyed close to 1,000 Houston-area high school students, ages 14 to 19.

Should those teens oblige, both the sender and the receiver could face serious consequences. Those private photos could resurface online or even land the teens on a sex offender list.

Click here to read, ‘Laws That Seek To Protect Our Kids Fail Them’.

10 Things Parents Don’t Understand About Their Teenage Children

July 12, 2012

I just read a very perceptive and humerous piece by Sam Koppelman about how little parents understand their teenage children:

1. Parents just don’t understand that not all teens like Justin Bieber and One Direction.

Parents, sure a ton of teens are Beliebers and Directioners (just look at how many followers they have on Twitter!), but I can assure you, there are plenty of us who aren’t exactly happy about the fact that if Biebs were our boyfriend, he would never let us go. And there are many of us who would run away if we saw five British boys chasing after us on the beach. So, to all the parents who are thinking about what to get their teens for their birthdays, ask us before buying the new Justin Bieber perfume at Macy’s.

2. Parents just don’t understand that we know they weren’t perfect in high school, either.

Parents, when you get mad at us for staying out past our curfew and going out with our friends on the weekends, stop pretending you weren’t doing the same things when you were teens. We have all seen the hair you guys tried to pull off in the ’80s. And if those weren’t “out past your curfew” boots, then I don’t know what were.

3. Parents just don’t understand that they don’t need to apologize for cursing…

Parents, as nice as it is that you guys try to protect the innocence of our ears, you really don’t have to apologize for cursing. Believe us, we’ve heard curse words before. In fact, we need curse words to get us through bad test scores and annoying classes. So, when you forget I’m in the car and curse out the driver next to you for cutting into your lane, please don’t apologize. Thanks!

4. Parents just don’t understand that we’ve heard worse than Howard Stern.

Similarly, parents, you don’t have to change the channel on the radio or the TV whenever Howard Stern comes on the screen. Right when you leave the room, we can stream his radio show or watch America’s Got Talent on the computer. No need to be martyrs. We can all enjoy Howard together.

5. Parents just don’t understand that we don’t “Twitter.” We tweet.

Parents, you would never say that we should “books.” You would say that we should “read books.” So don’t tell us to stop “twittering.” If you are going to pester us about what we do on the Internet, at least use the correct verb and tell us to “stop tweeting.”

6. Parents just don’t understand why we would want to make our photos look “old.”

Parents, we get that you might be self-conscious about aging. That’s totally normal! But seriously, when we make photos look old on Instagram or Hypstamatic, we aren’t giving ourselves wrinkles and turning our hair gray. Aging photos and aging middle-aged parents are not the same thing. We make our photos black and white because old photos look cool. Unlike old people. Unless, of course, they are named Betty White.

7. Parents just don’t understand that a movie being rated “R” won’t prevent us from going to see it.

Seriously, parents, how do you think The Hangover did so well if no teens under the age of 18 lied about how old they were on Fandango to buy tickets? As much as we like acronyms (LOL, OMG, JK) we don’t really care about what the MPAA has to say about what movies we’re allowed to see.

8. Parents just don’t understand that we find it creepy when they give us the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.

Parents, we don’t need your endorsement to look at the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. We are just as weirded out by the prospect of you thinking that we would enjoy looking at those pictures as you are by the prospect of us enjoying looking at those pictures. So please keep the Sports Illustrated with Kate Upton on the cover wherever you keep the Sports Illustrated with Lebron on the cover. Thanks.
9. Parents just don’t understand that we know what going away to “celebrate their anniversary” means.

No explanation needed. Ew.

10. Parents just don’t understand that we honestly do love them.

No matter how annoying they are or how much they don’t understand, we know how much they love us. And we love them back.

 

We Should be Promoting Health Instead of Focusing on Obesity

June 21, 2012

It seems that we have given up on promoting healthy lifestyles and educating our students about nutrition. It’s now all about avoiding obesity:

The American Medical Association on Wednesday put its weight behind requiring yearly instruction aimed at preventing obesity for public schoolchildren and teens.

The nation’s largest physicians group agreed to support legislation that would require classes in causes, consequences and prevention of obesity for first through 12th graders. Doctors will be encouraged to volunteer their time to help with that under the new policy adopted on the final day of the AMA’s annual policymaking meeting.

Children as Young as 7 are Cutting Themselves

June 11, 2012

It is terribly tragic to read of the number of children harming themselves on purpose. What makes it even more unsettling is that these children don’t take up this practice based on peer pressure, television, advertising or any other common triggers for unhealthy child behaviour.

When a child decides to cut themself, they are expressing deep and complex issues such as hopelessness, self-hatred, loneliness and anger. Often a child’s cuts goes unnoticed.

I am grateful that a study has brought this silent but shocking issue to the fore:

Studies have suggested about one-fifth of teens and young adults engage in self-injury at some point to relieve negative emotions or reach out for help, for example. But this report is the first to ask the question of kids as young as seven. Researchers found one in 12 of the third-, sixth- and ninth-graders they interviewed had self-injured at least once without the intention of killing themselves.

“A lot of people tend to think that school-aged children, they’re happy, they don’t have a lot to worry about,” said Benjamin Hankin, a psychologist from the University of Denver who worked on the study. “Clearly a lot more kids are doing this than people have known.”

Hankin and his colleagues spoke with 665 youth about their thoughts and behaviors related to self-harm. They found close to eight percent of third graders, four percent of sixth graders and 13 percent of ninth graders had hit, cut, burned or otherwise purposefully injured themselves at least once. In younger kids hitting was the most common form of self-injury, whereas high schoolers were most likely to cut or carve their skin.

Ten of the kids, or 1.5 percent, met proposed psychological criteria for a diagnosis of non-suicidal self-injury, meaning they had hurt themselves at least five times and had a lot of negative feelings tied to the behavior, the researchers reported Monday in Pediatrics. Youth who self-injure often say they do it to help stop bad emotions, or to feel something — even pain — when they are otherwise feeling numb, according to psychologists.

 

New Facebook Craze Branded “A Paedophile’s Paradise”

November 22, 2011

Some fads are just harmless fun. Many would argue that the Sneaky Hat craze falls under that category. Sneaky Hat, which refers to the practice of taking a photo of yourself naked with nothing more than a hat to cover your private parts, is not “harmless”. Kids that take part in it are not just stupid and foolish. They are reckless in the extreme:

The Sneaky Hat trend has been branded a ”paedophile’s paradise” and involves mostly young people posing in nothing but a hat covering their genitals.

Countless Facebook pages and other sites, open for anyone to see, have sprung up showing male and female teens in provocative poses after reportedly originating at a Queensland Highschool.

Cyber safety campaigner Susan Mclean said contributors to the fad were not only staining their futures but risking child pornography charges.

”It’s no use saying its just fun, it’s harmless fun, the consequences can be quite severe,” she said.

”It is going to end in tears and those pictures – it’s not like sending it on your phone to your boyfriend who may or may not send it on – this is on www (world wide web).

“They’re on public sites, anyone can see them and people are posting them with their names, they’re proud of the photos,” Ms Mclean, founder of Cyber Safety Solutions said.

A Queensland Police spokesperson said they were monitoring the trend but a Victoria Police spokesperson said there had been no reports they knew of in Victoria.

Parents, please do want you can to make sure your children don’t entertain the idea of sharing their hats with the world.

Online Bullying Has Yet to Reach It’s Peak

November 10, 2011

A recent study into bullying may have fond that online bullying isn’t as prevalent as regular bullying, but it is still early days.

A new study entitled Teens, Kindness and Cruelty on Social Networks confirms much of what we already know about cyberbullying. Most kids aren’t bullied and most kids don’t bully either online or off.

In fact, the study–conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project for the Family Online Safety Institute and Cable in the Classroom–concluded that “[m]ost American teens who use social media say that in their experience, people their age are mostly kind to one another on social network sites.” Nearly seven in ten (69 percent) of teens said that peers are mostly kind while 20 percent said peers are mostly unkind with 11 percent saying, “it depends.”

Fifteen percent of teens say they have been the “target of online meanness.” When you include in-person encounters, 19 percent say they’ve been “bullied” in the past year.

These numbers track very closely with previous scientific surveys on bullying and cyberbullying. The largest source of bullying (12 percent) was in person, followed by text messaging (9 percent). Eight percent said they had been bullied via email, a social networking site or instant messaging and 7 percent were bullied via voice calls on the phone. Girls are more likely to have experienced what we typically call “cyberbullying,” while boys and girls are roughly equal when it comes to in person bullying.

Online bullying may be less prevalent but it is arguably more damaging. It is generally accepted that since online bullying invades the victim’s home (traditionally a place of comfort and safety), it has a much more powerful effect. Another reason that online bullying is potentially more oppressive is that there can be many more bystanders and participants online. Facebook bullying can be shared between hundreds rather than just handful of kids in the schoolyard.

And let’s not kid ourselves. Bullies don’t discriminate between mediums. A bully doesn’t throw their weight around in person and then become an angel online.  Bullying is bullying, no matter what the medium.  The experts are telling us online bullying is not the major form of bullying that some believe it to be.

That may be true, but it’s early days …

Cyberbullying Even More Prevalent Among Girls

May 18, 2011

A recent survey found that girls are especially affected by cyberbullying:

Tweens and teens are both flocking to social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook to stay connected with each other. While used correctly this can be a positive thing the sites are also being used as weapons to facilitate cyberbullying.

Norton Canada recently completed a study called The Norton Cyberbullying Survey asking Canadian parents about their children’s online experiences. A quarter of the parents said that their child had been involved in a cyberbullying incident. Of those children 66 percent of the parents said their child was a victim and 16 percent admitted that their child was the bully.
More shocking is that 32 percent of parents are unsure of their children’s online behaviours but 44 percent fear that their child’s online behaviour could involve coming in contact with an online predator.

While on the schoolyard the victims of bullies often are male when it comes to the cyberspace playground girls are the ones being bullied. Parents revealed that 86 percent of those bullied were their daughters compared to a rate of 55 percent when it came to their sons.

Computers are not the only tools being used as a weapon for cyberbullying. Cyberbullies turn to cell phones with middle schoolers using this tool more often.

Even though it’s not legal for children under the age of 13 to access social networking sites 43 percent of parents are comfortable when their children aged 8-12 have an account as long as the parents can supervise them. While almost half of parents claim they have an open dialogue with their children about their online behaviour 32 percent feel that they can’t control all the environments where their children have access to social networking. This access includes what their children are doing in school.

One wonders how parents can be comfortable with their underage children on Facebook considering these damning statistics.  Firstly, aiding your children in breaking a law is not a good example to set, and secondly, supervising your child’s internet and social media use is easier said than done.  Why does an 8-year old need a Facebook page anyway?

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