Let's face it, teenagers have alot of problem in this cusmos that the governers can't solve them. For example bedwetting and using some narcotics and rape and freelove or incest. What's your opinion about this problems and suggest you soloution for deracinating these problems?
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I have found that being ready to listen helps a lot. For example, one of my 17 year old students just had a baby that lived for two days and then died. I am not sure how to help an adult through that, let alone a teenager. We can only be there when they need us, and show them we care. Sometimes all a child needs is a good listener.
A classroom built on respect and trust is a good place to start. Teachers are not meant to be a student's buddy. We can be a role model or a mentor, but students have enough friends. Remaining in a role of mature, trusted, leader will enable students to feel that they can confide if they need to or that at least you will be able to help them find someone whom they can confide in.
As we all know, sometimes students just need to vent, someone who will listen, nod, and say "uh huh. And then what? What are you going to do about that?" They need a nonjudgmental listener. Sometimes, though, they really do need help with their feelings or with an immediate threat or problem. I can remember several times when I was faced with this situation. Instead of sending them to a counselor or a principal, I went with them, acting as a friend in the room while they talked to someone with more expertise or authority than mine. Once the contact had been made and they were comfortable talking to someone else who could really help them, I could bow out and resume my relationship with them as their teacher and supporter. I was comfortable dealing with my students' personal problems in this way. They didn't feel abandoned, they got the help they needed, and I didn't attempt to solve problems beyond my role in the classroom.
Yes, as teachers our job is to tap on all the resources that would make our students be in a safe, learning environment so that nothing interferes with OUR job of, well, teaching.
We can be there for them, and there are plenty of trained personnel, like the colleagues mentioned, that are specifically dedicated to issues of that nature. I would not get involved either because, first, I am a bit too emotional with kids in trouble, second, because I know I am not trained to deal with any of these issues, and three, because in this day and age you have to be WAY careful with the ethical use of information, with dealing with minors, and especially with becoming a part (or a solution) for the problem.
Actually, I don't think it's my place to deal with such problems. It's my job to teach grammar and reading, not to analyze and "solve" a student's problems. However, if I do become aware that a student is troubled in some way, I'll talk to the guidance counselor or to our STARS counselor about getting some kind of help for the student. It is just too legally dangerous for us to give advice when we're not trained in counseling.
These are all overwhelming problems for teachers. I too have many students who come to me with their traumatic stories. Over the years I have tried to learn how to deal with their problems without taking the problems home with me. This can be very difficult I know, but I would suggest that one first step might be familiarizing yourself with the services available to teenagers at your school and in your community. It's always good to have phone numbers at the ready if someone comes to you for help. This not only enables you to deal very clinically with stressful issues, but shows the students that you take their problems seriously.
I have found that most students who come to me, no matter how difficult their problems, really are just looking for someone they can trust with things that are just too difficult for them to keep to themselves. Make sure to let students know that you'll keep things confidential unless what they're telling you necessitates reporting. Remember that as a teacher, you are a mandated reporter, and by law you must report any cases of physical and/or sexual abuse that have occurred.
You will never be able to solve all of the problems students bring to you, but by listening you will do more than you realize. Teenagers need to feel that they are important to at least one adult. Affirm the worth of the student who comes to you, let them know that what has happened to them is scary, wrong, violating, hurtful, etc., and also let them know that their feelings about the matter, whatever they may be, are ok.
Although your post seems a bit cryptic to me, I would say that the best thing we can do as teachers is to "be there" for these teens when they come to us for help. I have always been amazed at how much they are willing to share in their search for answers in life. I have done everything from pointing the way to the hospital & rape crisis center after a rape to forcing two fighting cheerleaders into my room in order to end an argument by "helping" me. We do it all, . . . and none of it's in our job description.
I believe when a student comes to us in crisis it is very important that we use our own professional judgement as well as common sense. We always want to do want is best for our students, but it is imperative that we never let the lines of our roles as teachers become blurred by the situation. This year, one of my students came to me and told me that she was pregnant. I was very uncomfortable with the situation. I was not sure how to handle it. I went to the student's guidance counselor and she told me how to handle the situation. After I helped her, I was able to re-establish our relationship.
I am happy that although linda-allen says "I don't think it's my place to deal with such problem," she does take some very effective steps to deal with teenage problems - like talk to the guidance counselor about getting some help for the student.
The teenage problem is really a tough one, and our own frustration to deal with it effectively, we may sometime react the way linda-allen did. It may be all right to say things like that once in a while. But fact is that the teachers are often in very good position to both sense the existence of such problems, and to deal with them.
Suggestions given in post # 2 and 3 are fairly simple and yet these can be effective.
In summing up I wish to reiterate that teachers must accept the responsibility for dealing with teenage problem as they are in a very good position to contribute to the solutions. No reasonable person expects them to solve all such problems by themselves, but they must try their best.
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