Teaching Young Learners and Teens: turning pain into bliss

As a teacher, I have already experienced feelings of frustration, sadness and even anger when I prepared THAT special lesson and everything went wrong, specially classroom management. I know, I’m not the only one. So this time, I would like to bring you 3 tips which could potentially help you shift this key, so that in this new year which is beginning you could see Young Learners and Teens as your favorite age range. Because teaching is a very demanding profession, and your students should be your focus, not your source of stress. 


  1. Know your audience

Getting to understand your students’ stage of development, and how this could impact their learning process, could be fundamental to how you plan your lessons. You could read about it if you quickly google Piaget’s stages of development, or even read books such as Siegel’s The Whole Brained Child. There are several great videos on YouTube which could also give you a glimpse of the physical development which is going on in the child or the teenager’s brain, and how to adapt your work accordingly.


  1. Know how to communicate

Depending on how communication develops in your classroom, your brain automatically activates a response, which could trigger feelings of love and affection, or ones of fear and mistrust. I know, I know, they’re children and teenagers, you’re the adult of the situation, but I know it’s really hard not to feel personally affected by certain behavior which you can observe in class. Learn how to identify these feelings, and how to communicate your needs and requests to your students. Here, you can know more about it with Rosenberg’s “Nonviolent Communication”, or even follow the amazing work done by CNVHub, Instituto CNV Brasil, or even CNV na base. They’re very active on instagram and carry courses on this subject from time to time.


  1. Know how to be kind to yourself

Well, THIS could be really hard. So remember this: you’re doing a great job! Whenever you’re second-guessing your decisions, or even questioning your professional abilities, you should remember that you’re doing your best and your community is there to support you. 

A tip here would be to keep a journal, so that you can write what was positive about your day, and if you have any lows a journal could force yourself to face the bright side of the situation and what you can learn from it. It truly works.


So here it is. As the school year begins, I believe having these three pillars in mind might help you to have a smoother year. Hope it works.


And if you wish to talk about Nonviolent Communication you can always send me a message. I really love this subject and we could exchange ideas on how to apply it to your English classroom. Let’s go together!

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Fabiana Muliterno

Fabi is a teacher and a teacher trainer. She has been working also as a course designer for the past 2 years. She holds a CELTA, an ICELT, and the Delta Module 2. She also holds a Train the Trainer certificate. Fabi has been studying Visible Learning, Positive Discipline and Nonviolent Communication, and she believes those are key to a better, warmer and safer environment in class. She is the owner of the @lighthouse_elt, where she tries to bring content on these areas. She is also responsible for the social media at the @yltsigbr for the BRAZ-TESOL institution. She loves reading, writing, and watching films and series in her free time. She is a proud nerd and geek.

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