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Encountering New Life Forms: Meeting Adolescent Needs

Encountering New Life Forms: Meeting Adolescent Needs

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Encountering New Life Forms: Meeting Adolescent Needs

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  1. Encountering New Life Forms: Meeting Adolescent Needs How to teach young teenagers without losing your mind.

  2. Development of the Person: • Primary needs • Unlearned • Secondary needs • Learned • Toward self-sufficiency • Toward self-actualization

  3. Strommen’s Five Cries of Youth • The cry of the unloved • The cry of the orphan • The cry of social protest • The cry of prejudice • The cry of the joyful

  4. Worries of Adolescents 56% school performance 22% my parents might divorce 53% looks 21% I may die soon 48% others like me 19% sexual abuse 47% one parent might die 18% trouble from friends 45% how I’m treated by friends 38% societal ills 15% parent’s drinking 36% violence at school 12% getting beat up at school 35% I might lose a friend 11% I might kill myself 35% drugs/alcohol 30% might not get a good job 26% body normality 25% US nuked



  7. 1. Achieving mature relations with age-mates of both sexes; 2. Achieving a masculine or feminine identity; 3. Accepting one’s body; 4. Achieving emotional independ. 5. Selecting & preparing for career; 6. Achieving financial independence; 7. Preparing for marriage & family life 8. Socially responsible behavior 9. Ethics & set of values. Self-development tasks

  8. Some Adolescent Issues • Sleep • Sex • Self-image • Prolongation of adolescence • Independence • Peers • Ethics

  9. Rapid growth Girls ahead of boys Sensitive about being different Deep, close rel. w/same sex Questioning authority Antagonistic Sense of justice Inquisitive Sexual awareness New roles Need security, deep love Peer standards Conformity to fads New sense of chronology The Early Adolescent

  10. Secondary needs • Gregariousness • Aggression • Affiliation • Inquisitiveness • Power • Achievement • Status

  11. Gregariousness • Social beings • Need to belong: • Homeroom may be home • Need to know teacher loves them • Need to be part of the team

  12. The voices of youth “Many of us see our teachers more than we see our parents. I think that teachers need to realize that they are a part of our lives as much as they are. Yes, our parents are important, but teachers are also because we see them so much. -9th grade girl

  13. Aggression • The need to assert, carve out territory, have “turf”. • Allow opinions to be expressed • Involve them in problem solving • Let them take care of routine tasks • Acknowledge their presence & uniqueness

  14. The voices of youth “I like the way I am. I have a family that supports me and loves me, too. Sometimes my classmates try to be someone else. I think they look ridiculous; you should always be yourself, no matter what.” 11 year-old girl

  15. Affiliation • Need to associate • Boys/girls and relationships • Friendships • School spirit • Belonging/gangs

  16. The voices of youth “ I was just dying to fit in with a certain crowd. It took me the whole seventh grade year to realize that for people to like you, you have to be yourself and not put on a front.” 14 year-old boy

  17. Inquisitiveness: the need to know • Relation of learning to life • “senioritis” • Curiosity

  18. The voices of youth “ I don’t know. I just wanted to try out everything. I wanted to know what it was like to get drunk or high or everything. I guess I didn’t think of the consequences. I think you don’t really learn the important things in school. You have to try stuff out to really learn.” 12 year-old boy

  19. Power: the need for identity • Decision-making • Graffiti, Dare-devil antics, gangs

  20. The voices of youth “ I changed my attitude because I wasn’t showing people respect. When I realized what I was doing, I said,’This isn’t right. I should treat others like I wanted to be treated.’” 13 year-old boy

  21. Achievement • Need for recognition for something specific • Motivation: boys vs. girls • Creation of Rites of Passage

  22. The voices of youth “I never had more than five minutes to sit down and breathe. I like being busy but it got to a point where it was just way too much.” 15 year-old girl (was captain of the volleyball team, first-chair flute with The school orchestra, played on the tennis team, taking Singing and art classes and had 3 hours of homework nightly.)

  23. Status • The need to be somebody • Demonstrate students’ power over their status • Value all kinds of talent • Notice them outside the classroom

  24. The voices of youth “it’s cool to see your name on the broadcast monitor in the cafeteria or in the local paper because you scored the winning basket. No one is going to get on the PA and say ‘Susie got an A in Spanish.’” -12 year-old boy

  25. Autonomy • Need for independence: rebellion • “Don’t trust anyone over 30” • Need for choices AND consequences • Jobs, finances

  26. The voices of youth “Nobody should change for anyone, no matter how much they get made fun of, laughed at or even talked about, because you’re your own person.” 14 year-old girl

  27. How do we encounter them? Where? • Listen, listen, listen • Stick with them • Keep asking questions • Take them seriously • Dare them to dream • Don’t try to “fix” things Why? When How? What?

  28. The voices of youth “Enjoy your time in middle school while it lasts. When you get older, I’m not saying things get harder, but there is a lot more responsibility in high school. Don’t be so quick to want to be adults.” 16 year-old girl