Educators Who Care about Troubled Teens
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We know teenagers face many developmental issues as they navigate their path into adult life. They sometimes find themselves heading towards the margins of school life because of academic failure, poor peer relations, acting out behaviors, school and home pressures. Problems that often lead to risky behaviors behavior with drugs, alcohol, and tobacco addictions that in the end only complicate their young lives and offer them little relief. They need help, support, and guidance from caring and experienced adults who can help them redirect their lives. However " help" as it is organized in our large high schools, junior high schools, and middle schools is usually centered on a few overworked guidance counselors, social workers, and school psychologist who are increasingly finding themselves losing staff due to budget cuts. As a result school communities find themselves in a no-win situation in which the needs and problems of teenagers are the rise while the core of designated helpers in the school organization is being decimated or forced to abandon their helping and counseling role to take on administrative duties because of cuts in the administrative staff. This we know It is the new reality in our secondary schools. However there is a glimmer of hope in this dire scenario. It has given rise to the need for caring and experienced teachers to be given the green light to open their doors to kids in need. No, as any wise educator knows ,this is not a new role for teachers who see their role as not only an academic teacher but a personal adviser as well. They are what I call " angel teachers." Educators who care about kids well being. One can find these angel teachers in most secondary schools. They carry on their intervention with students in a quiet, trusting, private manner with little interest in notoriety or stardom. In fact that's why kids in need are attracted to them and lineup outside their door. Kids know these caring teachers can deliver the kind of help they need. Their savvy and know the drill of how help works for kids in need. But the valuable helping role of these angel teachers has often gone unheralded because the designated helpers in the school have been anointed, with that role. But today's circumstances call for change if our schools are to meet the need personal and well being needs of their students. We need to examine the role of these angel teachers and make the case that they are now needed to take a primary role in the schools intervention efforts. This book will explore how they arrive at this role, their skills, how they help kids and how they avoid becoming saviors, self-promoters, and in the helping process for their own self-esteem
- R&L Education, August 2012
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