We say: “You teach the child, not the subject.”
A student who is worried about a serious problem or is making unhealthy choices cannot focus on school work, chores, or anything else.
Teachers have a way of knowing which students are struggling with an issue in their lives. Maybe a kid has a sudden change of personality, or she starts having trouble focusing in class, or he lingers after the bell rings. That’s when a great teacher can make all the difference.
I didn’t teach “health” but I had my fair share of conversations with teens about pressures and anxieties. You never know when a kid is going to open up and you do not want to drop the ball on this opportunity. I would have loved some resources to guide my discussions with my students. This grid of “Conversations at Different Ages” from Ask, Listen, Learn gives parents, teachers, coaches, and counselors a “head’s up” on what questions might come their way at each stage, along with tips on how to respond.
Now, as a mom of four, I appreciate a little help in this department. If I had this guide before, I would have known my nine year old would suddenly wonder why adults can have an alcoholic drink with dinner but she cannot.
While I am on the topic of pre-teens, the impact of peer-pressure is so important during these years. This is a great lesson that builds on the viral response to Kyle Schwartz’s assignment, “I wish my teacher knew…” For both parents and teachers, there is also an excellent list of books about peer-pressure in the tween years. I especially appreciate that the lesson addresses the way “peer influence” can be used as a power for good. Too often kids hear mainly negative messages; this turns that stereotype on its head and challenges teens to use their influence for good. With social media, influence is a key concept for kids to master–and knowing that they have the power to influence others may increase their sense of responsibility and confidence.
I am also homeschooling one of my kids this year and I am required by my state to teach him about “health education regarding alcohol, drug and tobacco misuse.” Since he’s very interested in science and enjoys playing sports, I think this lesson on The Importance of a Healthy Body will grab his attention and, along with this great visual or this more sophisticated diagram, cover some biology as a bonus!
Ask, Listen, Learn has some more lesson plans I will use to teach my children about resisting negative peer pressure, making healthy choices, and saying no to alcohol.
For my daughter, “Fortune Tellers” are still all the rage with the pre-teen set.
Some of the resources mentioned:
- Conversations about Alcohol at Different Ages
- The Impact of Peer Pressure
- The Importance of a Healthy Body
- Play Defense for Your Body
- Brain Drain
- Find Your Way
- What On Earth Are You Saying? (Decoder)
- Say Yes to a Healthy Lifestyle (Scramble)
- Fortune Teller
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility. All opinions are my own.
Original Photo by: Jordan Richmond