Alicia, a tenth grader, is going through a tumultuous time in her life. Adolescent, teenagers face multiple challenges in addition to learning content. Changing hormones and finding their identity among peers is more important and relevant to their lives. Alicia seems to be disengaged with the content with talkative behavior during instruction and has to be redirected by the teacher. When the class is suppose to read a short passage for a group project, Alicia refuses, becomes emotional, and shuts down.
Alicia’s behavior could be attributed to adolescent defiance; a phase of adolescent cognitive development when teenagers are exercising their new reasoning capabilities, exaggerated opinions, and behavior (APA 2011). However, Alicia could possibly have an undiagnosed learning disability where her cognitive competences and the ability to reason effectively, problem solve, and think abstractly on a higher-level are underdeveloped.
Students that are lacking these competencies perform below grade average in reading, writing, mathematics, memorization, or reasoning skills which could explain her below average academic perf...
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...enter of their lives. This is why teachers need to make an effort to get to know their student backgrounds and interests
Despite behavior issues, adolescent students need structure, and want adults to care about them. Teachers need to keep in mind that sometimes students like adults have a bad day and are not perfect and it is important not to take it personally and start fresh the following day providing the same issues do not continue. Last of all, the curriculum should actively engage the student and be relevant to their lives outside school; because children that lack the age appropriate cognitive development gradually fall behind their peers and eventually lose interest in school and drop out. It is imperative that teachers get to know their students and act as a bridge to help the student reach their highest potential regardless of background or deficiencies.
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