GETTING your teen back to school after the long summer vacation can be tricky – especially when they’ve developed lazy summer habits or, as has been suggested in recent reports, are fearful of what lies ahead in class.

The Olive Press speaks to two public school teachers about how to motivate teens and be involved in their education.

Kevin The Teenager School
Kevin the Teenager. Photo: Wikipedia.

Anna Moreno Rodríguez – teaches in Almanjáyar, Granada

Anna is a mathematics teacher at the La Paz institute in Almanjáyar, Granada – a school classified as having ‘special difficulty’ because of social issues in its municipality. She has taught since 2006.

She advises: “Motivation for teenagers is always difficult, especially after the holidays, as it’s difficult for them to return to work after lacking routine in the summer.

“If there’s a good relationship with the students, more goals are achieved. When school returns, teachers try to present the content in an entertaining and fun way, by working on projects and using new methodologies and resources – both manual and digital.”

Considering the age-old problem of kids bunking off school, she says: “We have some protocols where the families are notified first, but if this doesn’t work, they’re referred to social services.”

Annie Spratt Xkjunfwfz3s Unsplash
An older teen studies at her laptop. Photo: Annie Spratt / Unsplash.

Nobody wants the social services at their door – so how can parents avoid this?

“Teachers can advise families on habits, study techniques, conflict resolution and emotional intelligence, but the key thing is the involvement of the families in education and values at home. This is a problem today.”

She thinks that some parents have lost sight of what’s happening with their kids’ schooling and should be more involved.

She says: “Parents can constantly access the teaching and learning process, with face-to-face and telephone appointments and online messaging systems.” 

One of these is iPasen, which parents can install on your mobile phone.

From 2022, students who have failed their final exams in June can no longer re-sit them in September: this has caught some parents unawares.

“From this academic year, there’s no longer a September recovery option, except in the first year of baccalaureate. The evaluation of students is continuous and it’s not only exams that count. It’s difficult for a student to fail if they did well in the first trimesters.

“If a student is repeating the year, a personalised follow-up is carried out at our school so that they improve and meet the objectives. If they need to do better at something, the families are called.

“To motivate a repeating student, you should make them see that doing a year again isn’t punishment, but that they must be more mature in their work.”

Eliott Reyna Jcepn62owl4 Unsplash
Motivate the teens to attend school. Photo: Elliott Reyna / Unsplash

Eleuterio Leal Figueroa – secondary teacher in Alcala la Real

Eleuterio works in secondary schools, and baccalaureate, and currently teaches at the IES Alfonso XI in Alcala la Real, Jaen. She has been an English teacher since 2006.

“It’s always difficult to motivate students, but after the holidays, it’s more difficult! Try to make them see the importance of doing well academically for their future work and motivate them daily.

“With the parents, we try to make them see the importance of a good education for their children’s future and insist that they be constant.”

“The parents can access specific information about their children during the course, as well as exam grades, using tutoring systems (such as the iPasen mobile app).” 

“Try to convince the student that they must make an effort and work more to complete the course.”

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