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Teaching Strategies For Adolescent Students

A good spirit
"A good spirit" requires taking time out for nourishing. Parenting is the hardest and the best job going around, and parenting bright kids is like running an endurance race on a dark night in a blizzard. Taking the time out to sleep well, to acquaint yourself with what is happening in the world outside your home, and, above all, to laugh, not only helps you maintain perspective, it makes you a better parent.
Teaching Strategies For Adolescent Students

Clarissa Pinkola Estes, who wrote Women Who Run With the Wolves, has a wonderful concept called the "hand-crafted life." Each person is a little like a potter, shaping, honing, and refining the overall pattern of their lives. It is easy, and sometimes inevitable, to have your life shaped by other people or outside forces; however, you are in charge of preserving your own uniqueness.
Bright kids often have an immense desire to fit in, even if it costs them their own individuality. Having a parent who can nourish difference, who teaches the art of being socially successful while celebrating originality, helps bright kids to not lose sight of their great strengths and talents. Having a parent who preserves and cherishes his or her own uniqueness shows bright kids that it is all right to be themselves.

Bright kids don't need to be "fixed" because they aren't broken. They do, however, need to be shown ways to play to their own strengths and to learn a range of ways to interact with the world. They need to be shown how to flourish and thrive, and parents are the best people to do this.
In order to "hand-craft" your own life, you have to be a bit of a subversive, a counter-revolutionary. In a world where people rush faster and faster, work longer and longer, and laugh less and less, it is important to remember that it is our connections to other people - especially our families - that give meaning to our lives.

It is also worth reminding ourselves of the four essential questions asked in many forms of traditional healing: 

  • When did you stop singing?
  • When did you stop dancing?
  • When did you stop listening to and telling stories? 
  • When did you become disenchanted with the sacred place of silence? 


In every school there are two types of students: 
  1. your nice, agreeable, friendly, lovable students, and 
  2. the bright ones who have a mind of their own. They can be fiery and feisty, argumentative, and downright sneaky.
Bright kids are not bad kids; they simply tried out a particular behavior that worked for them, so they keep on using it.

There is a paradox that faces most teachers: those young people who leave school to go on and do remarkable things are not always the easiest to teach. Sadly, history does not record the thoughts of the teachers of Joan of Arc, Napoleon Bonaparte, Charles de Gaulle, or Abraham Lincoln as they left school. But that, rather than having much of a tear in their eye, the response might have been more like, "Phew, I'm glad that's over. Now they can change the world while I can have a bit of rest."

Bright kids can vary from lovable rogues to absolute pains in the rear end. They certainty have their strengths, but tackle them in the incorrect way and they can make your life a misery.

This supplement is to try to assist you to identify some of the common behaviors of bright kids and to devise strategies for helping them to flourish into the people they truly could become - while preserving your sanity in the process. To find out more, you can check out Teaching Strategies For Adolescent Students.