Empowerment is key.
Do you remember your teen years? How you strove to show your adultness, to gain independence, to show how much you knew, to be viewed by adults as someone who could add value?
In our Adolescent Program, we endeavor daily to meet those needs. To do this we give our students choice, responsibility, and authority. For certain subjects, the students discuss standards and are asked how they would like to meet them. After discussion and deliberation, their ideas are put into practice.
Annual student trips are another way to empower the children. Students plan every detail of their class trip such as budgeting time, allocating funds from a limited budget and making sure there is something to spark everyone’s interest.
When hiccups arise in these well-laid plans, students learn to be flexible and to find solutions. When all their planning comes together and everyone has a great time, they realize that they can do hard things and that hard things are worth the work. Teens not only gain these valuable skills but are engaged in an experience that is uniquely theirs.
When adults take the time to involve students in the decisions that shape their lives, stereotypical teenage behaviors fall away. They are no longer reluctant and sluggish but excited to willingly and actively participate in school.
Empowerment is key in meeting the developmental needs of the adolescent. Take a look at the CMS Adolescent Blog to get a glimpse of empowerment in action.