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ADOLESCENCE

 

FOR TEACHERS

Dear friend,


There will be a teacher in the life of every individual, as a force in success and as a support in failure. So be such a teacher in the minds of the thousands of adolescents those who are wandering for proper instructions for a healthy life.

Most adolescents have no source of information on puberty and related changes.
Common sources of information are peers and media as compared to schools and parents. Hence we teachers have a crucial role to play in developing health awareness among adolescents.

Create your school environment in such a way to develop comprehensive health awareness among adolescent girls and boys. Remember the WHO definition of Health.

As individuals the changes we can make is negligible, so try to do it as a collective group in your institution

Follow the style: Prepare a plan, discuss, modify, tryout, evaluate, replan, and implement

An effective school Health programme should have the following basic components

Health-related school policies, Safe water and sanitation and a healthy environment,
Skills-based health education , Health and nutrition services

A school's environment can enhance learning social and emotional well-being, when it:

  • is warm, friendly and rewarding
  • always promote cooperation
  • accounts fearless expression and open communications
  • provides creative opportunities
  • prevents physical punishment, teasing, harassment and violence
  • promotes equal opportunities through democratic procedures.
    promote opportunities for practicing non-violent conflict resolution techniques

A Health-Promoting School

Can be characterized as a school that is constantly strengthening its capacity as a healthy setting for living, learning and working. It does this by:
• Fostering health and learning with all the measures at its disposal;

• Engaging health and education officials, teachers, teachers' unions, students, parents, health providers and community leaders in efforts to make the school a healthy place;

• Striving to provide a healthy environment, school health education and school
health services along with school/community projects and outreach, health
promotion programmes for staff, nutrition and food safety programmes, opportunities for physical education and recreation, and programmes for counselling, social support and mental health promotion;


• Implementing policies and practices that respect an individual's well-being and dignity, provide multiple opportunities for success, and acknowledge good efforts
and intentions as well as personal achievements;

• Striving to improve the health of school personnel, families and community
members as well as students.
UNICEF has developed a framework of rights-based, child-friendly educational
systems and schools that are characterized as "healthy for children,
effective with children, protective of children, and involved with families and
communities -- and children" (Shaeffer, S, 1999). Within this framework:

• The school is a significant personal and social environment in the lives of its students. A child-friendly school ensures every child an environment that is physically safe, emotionally secure and psychologically enabling;

• Teachers are the single most important factor in creating an effective and inclusive classroom.

• Children are natural learners, but this capacity to learn can be undermined andsometimes destroyed. A child-friendly school recognizes, encourages and supportschildren's growing capacities as learners by providing a school culture, teaching behaviours and curriculum content that are focused on learning and the learner.

• The ability of a school to be and to call itself child-friendly is directly linked to the support, participation and collaboration it receives from families.

• Child-friendly schools aim to develop a learning environment in which boys and girls are motivated and able to learn, and staff members are friendly and welcoming to children and attend to all their health and safety needs.

The psycho-social environment of your school

The psycho-social environment of your school is very important as school is a formal setting for learning and practicing socially acceptable beahviour patterns.
Research on work and home environments has shown that there can be a strong relationship between social settings and emotional well-being. Considering how much time most children spend at school, psycho-social dimensions of schools have sparked the interest of a growing number of researchers concerned with school effectiveness and the emotional well-being of young people.

A positive social environment at school can influence the behaviour of students.

• A positive psycho-social environment at school can affect the mental health and
well-being of young people.

• A supportive school environment can improve student learning outcomes.

Create a healthy psycho-social environment in your school

Constitute school teams incorporating teaching, non-teaching staff, students, parents and members of local bodies

School teams can:
• Assess their resources, local health problems and opportunities
• Involve various stakeholders in generating ideas and developing a vision for action
• Define goals and objectives and develop action plans to carry them out

• Document progress and plan for the future.

Develop a comprehensive tool to evaluate your school environment
The following areas can be incorporated in your tool
(Adapted from WHO Information Series on School Health Document 10)

1. Friendly, rewarding and supportive school environment
2. Provision for cooperation and collaboration
3. Absence of physical punishment and violence
4. No harassment and discrimination.
5. Promoting the development of creative activities
6. Parental Involvement
7. Promoting equal opportunities and participation in decision-making.

The set of items given follows will help you to judge how far healthy your school
environment is. Bring up adequate solution through your school teams to make it better.
You are free to add or modify items as per the needs of your institution.

Friendly, rewarding and supportive school environment

1.The school is friendly and welcoming to learners, parents and other visitors.
2 Students are involved to welcome and assist newcomers in school.
3 The school has a policy on integrating new students in the school.
4 The school is seen as an appealing place to work for the staff
5 School authorities and PTA encourage the students to care for each other.
6 Teachers support students who need special assistance
7 Teachers are approachable if pupils have a problem or need confidential advice.
8 The school assembly is a regular event for recognizing achievements of students
9 Teachers always provide positive comments on achievements and suggestions for improvement.
10 The staff support provisions in the school are adequate
11 Teachers are trained to develop and maintain their self-confidence as per the needs of the school.
14 Staff have affection to the school.
15 Students have a sense of belonging to the school.
16 Parents are involved in and supportive of the school and its governance.
17 Staff are concerned about each other.
18 Students are concerned about each other.

Provision for cooperation and collaboration

1 The school promotes co-operative learning
2 Students spend time working together to solve problems.
3 Students are encouraged to ask questions in the classroom.
4 Group activities have prominent place in learning
5 Teachers are seen to be co-operating with each other.

6 The school discourages announcing the order of students in each class, based on their academic performance.
7 Students work on projects for and with their local community.
8 The students' work is regularly put on display.

Absence of physical punishment and violence

1 Physical punishment is not an acceptable disciplinary procedure in school.
2 The school promotes non-physical punishment as an acceptable disciplinary procedure.
3 The school keeps records of disruptive incidents that occur during the day.
4 There is a committee in school to help teachers deal fairly with aggression and violence.
5 Teachers are trained in new knowledge and skills to maintain a safety in school.
6 Support is available for teachers who have been involved in violent or stressful incidents.
7 The school rules are clearly distributed to everyone.
8 Discipline is maintained well at the school.
9 School environment create the feeling of safety in all
10 The school has a well defined procedure in dealing with abusive behaviour
11 Good behavior practiced by students are recognized in school assembly

No harassment and discrimination.

1 The school will not be tolerate any type of harassment
2 The teachers should intervene if bullying arises.
3 The school policies for dealing with bullying are enforced.
4 The students know that bullying in school, outside school and while travelling to and from
school is disapproved.
5 Female students are not subjected to sexual harassment at school.
6 Female teachers are not subjected to sexual harassment at school.
7 Anti harassment committee is working in the school
8 There is a code of conduct which is clear and known to all
9 The code of conduct is regularly updated.
10Teachers take active steps to prevent the exclusion of students by their peers.
11 There are records of harassment and discrimination reported by students and staff.
12 The school counselors mediate when conflict occurs.

Promoting the development of creative activities.

1 There is regular time available for recreation and play daily in the time table
2 The play and recreation periods are supervised properly.
3 The number of special teachers are adequate
4 Adequate space is available for recreation and play
5 students create their own imaginative games without involving adults.
6 All students have opportunities to learn subjects that free from examinations, e.g. music, art,
drama
7 creative learning experiences constructed by students are rewarded.
8 All students are provided with opportunities to engage in physical activity as a recreational
choice.
9 The physical education programme is comprehensive for leading a healthy life

Parental Involvement

1 Parents are informed about rules, activities, and programmes in the school.
2 Class PTA is highly effective in monitoring learning after school.
3 Awareness classes are given to parents on various aspects of learning
4 The PTA meetings are regular
5 PTA actively contribute to the welfare of the school.
6 Mother PTA is more effective for dealing with health issues of pupils.
7 Parents know that the school actively promotes cooperation, inside and outside the classroom.
8 Parents ask questions or discuss worries they have about their child.
9 The parent teacher communication is regular
10 There are opportunities for parents to be involved in activities linked to the school life and work, e.g., outings, fund-raising.

Promoting equal opportunities and participation in decision-making.

1 Equal opportunities are given to students to speak, and be listened to, in class.
2 There is a procedure that enables all students to openly express their feelings and thoughts about school work and school life.
3 The students get opportunities to contribute in decisions about how the school is organized.
4 There is no gender discrimination among students
5 There is no gender discrimination among teachers
6 Teachers never promote any type of discrimination
7 No discrimination in terms of religion, language or ethnicity
8 Students with special needs are treated with respect and equality.
9 Every student in the school are given the possibility of being successful.
10 Girls and boys have the same opportunities to reach their potential.

Characteristics of Adolescents

  • Awareness about characteristics of adolescents is very important for secondary and senior secondary teachers, as they are daily entangled with the age group. Estimate their age and planyour lessons accordingly to develop them fully.
  • A vital aspect of adolescent psychological development includes the evolution of values through moral reasoning..According to KohIberg's theory, adolescence should be provided with hypothetical dilemmas where students can explore their feelings and openly discuss their viewpoints in choosing between conflicting situations. Through their discussions, adolescents become more aware of their power to make choices and decisions about their lives.
    Adolescent maturation is a personal phase of development where children have to establish their own beliefs, values, and what they want to accomplish out of life. Because adolescents constantly and realistically appraise themselves, they are often characterized as being extremely self-conscious. Programmes and activities that help to develop self conscious should be utilized.
  • Three distinct stages can be identified in the psychological development of the adolescent, even though there is a great deal of overlap in the stages, early adolescence (ages 11-13), development usually centers around developing a new self-image due to their physiologicalchanges.
  • During mid-adolescence, they strive for independence from parents and their emotions and intellectual capacities increase. They become adventurous, and experiments with different ideas including use of drugs and alcohol. So there is value conflict between the set established by parents and other adult figures.
  • During late adolescence (ranges from sixteen), they have more stable sense of their identity and place in society. At this stage in life they should feel psychologically integrated and should have a fairly consistent view of the outside world.