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Teaching Teenagers to Foresee Their Future

Today, I met a former student on Facebook. When she was a teen, I remember we had talked about what it will be their aspiration to the future. Among them, there were her dream of becoming a lawyer. Once she finished school we befriend her on Facebook and she just posted about her interest in the teaching career. We reply back something like, you must be kidding me...

Back in time and still today, what we see in teenagers is that they do not see the point of learning at school. They really want to talk to their mates, but not listen to their teacher! If they do have a vision of their future, it is one of being famous as a singer or some kind of celebrity. How they are going to become this famous person is a little more vague.

Successful teachers mix the lesson up to incorporate the necessary learning with real life topics that the teenagers talk about. Teachers do this to motivate them. A teacher has to give them a vision of the future. Soon the teenagers begin to look forward to coming to class and listen more to the teacher, rather than only talk to their pals in class.

To give the teenagers a taste of success in their future we have to give the young person confidence. It could be followed up with the teacher giving approving comments like -well done! I knew you could do it! Reinforce positive thinking.

This will possibly make the youngsters to put their feet on the ground. The person on the story had to say: "I had to be honest with myself , Law school would be too crucial, it's a lot more studying and exams, A LOT more money, and I know people in the profession who just ended up working as paralegals because of the stress." It showed me the adult in her.

To wrap up, face up to the facts that you will have to work hard to motivate the vast majority of teenagers that come to your class. You have to find a way to get them motivated and have a vision of the future. Once you give them confidence, use this method to inspire even more positive thoughts: Use successful people as examples for them to achieve success. Mix in some humor and an overall good feeling in the classroom. Good luck!

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  1. Despite the challenges of the job, teaching does have its rewards. For some inspiration, check out this short video -- ahamoment.com/pg/moments/view/4654 -- about one teacher's "aha moment" when her efforts were recognized by a former student in a very special way. Hope you enjoy.

    Thanks -- jack@ahamoment.com

  2. It is a nice way to make students think of their future, it will surely enhance their spirits.