Adolescents often have trouble concentrating because their bodies are going through so many changes. Once girls begin their cycle, you have a whole other set of problems to deal with. Boys also have no control over their bodies. Teachers need to be aware of these issues.
We live in a world of 30-second sound bytes, glitz and glamour and entertainment, and all things should be fun. School isn't always fun. (The secret no one tells students, of course, is that life after school is not all fun, either!) That's a huge problem. One other major consideration is that many students have no immediate adult role model who tells them they can achieve anything if they're willing to work. Blame social programs which create dependency, or parents who don't have any higher education or training themselves, or single-parent homes where just surviving is the priority. In any case, if no one is showing them or telling them they can and they should, they won't.
The above post has hit on a lot of the issues facing adolescents in education in schools today. One thing I see with students is that they see absolutely no value in school. As teachers we have to shoe them the relevance to education for their own personal life.
As a high school teacher for 6 years and an at-risk youth counselor for a year, I have a seen a number of adolescent problems in education. Ironically, they seem to exist everywhere I've been, from public to private to residential schools.
Most common adolescent education problems (from my experience):
- Lack of interest in school and furthering education (many students don't see the future benefits of HS education).
- Laziness (probably the result of a lack of interest).
- Abundant desire/knowledge of technology for social and entertainment purposes, very little desire/knowledge of technology for educational purposes.
- Personal/family problems taking precedence over education.
- Feelings of fear or threat in school/bus environment, which causes a number of educational problems.
I can't even begin to give the solution to such problems. I encourage you to browse the teacher's discussion forums for a variety of threads discussing solutions to different educational issues.