How To Connect With High School Students

Are you considering switching up the path you are taking in your educational career? 

Perhaps you might feel that you are better suited to teach older children rather than younger ones.  Change is always good, right? 

It is best to not go into this blindly, though. The last thing that you want to do is make a mistake that can really make the subsequent years harder than they need to be. 

If you are thinking of joining high school staffing, it’s a good idea to know what you are getting into. High school students are quite different from their younger counterparts. 

You will likely need a different way of communicating with them. 

While you may have a head start by having a teenager in your house, the parent-child dynamic is different from the teacher-student. We’re here to help you navigate that. Read on to learn more. 

Connecting with high schools students

You Should Interview Your Students

Talk to them early on in the school year and learn what is going on in their heads. Many times, a student will view a teacher as someone who just talks at them when teaching rather than talking to them. Opening the communication paths allows them to see the teacher as a human being. 

Students are tired of just being seen as sponges. These are people who have their own hopes and dreams and aspirations for what they want to do with their lives. Listen to what they have to say and treat it as important. 

See what they like, see what they don’t like. Try to incorporate what they say into a lesson. It’s a great way to pique their interest. 

Try To Give Assignments That Allow Them To Share Experiences

When you assign homework, try to give things that allow them to show some of their inner thoughts and experiences. 

This is a better way rather than just having them do rote work that won’t spark any creativity. You could do math word problems that incorporate the students – in a nice way. 

These types of assignments will likely stick in their minds for a long time afterwards. Can you remember what was on page 373 of your tenth-grade math textbook? You might look back fondly at things that incorporated classmates, though. 

Yes, doing this sort of thing might turn out to be difficult with some subjects that are more straightforward, but if you show the effort, they will likely appreciate it and work harder for you. It’s all about taking an extra step to make things more interesting and relatable for them. 

Try To Have Them Be The Center Of Attention In Discussions

Sitting in a classroom while the teacher drones on and on is a surefire way to have them constantly glancing at the clock rather than listening. 

You can combat that by having discussions that allow the students to talk for the majority of the class. This is also a great way to have the class fly by for them since they will be intent on talking and not looking at the clock. 

Another solution here is to arrange the classroom in such a way that they are facing each other and are not just looking in one direction at a blackboard. This is a great way to get them to focus on each other and help the time pass by faster. Then they may be surprised when the bell rings since they have been so involved. 

By doing this, you are doing an excellent job of combating boredom. They will also tend to remember these discussions more than they might remember anything that you write on the blackboard or smartboard. This could help them in the future with tests since it will help them recall better. 

Ultimately, you can try to think back to when you were a teenager who was in high school. What were the teachers that really captured your attention? What were their teaching and communication methods like? 

When you set foot in your classroom daily, try channelling those favorite teachers. Incorporate things that they did into your own lessons. Be your own person, but use their traits to communicate with your students – this way, they may look back fondly at you. 

High school students can present a whole set of challenges when it comes to communicating with them, but if you talk to them like the soon-to-be adults that they are, then things can get a lot easier for you … and them. They can then possibly go to college confident that they have the building blocks of success. You can be one of the architects of those blocks.