The header for the article in “The Sunday Times” in Perth on 10th June, 2018 read “Be Firm with Us” (page 13).
A researcher, Helen Egeberg, from the School of Education at Edith Cowan University had surveyed adolescents in Year 10 from six Perth secondary schools (both public and private).
Results showed firstly, that more that 80% wanted teachers who ensured that behaviour in the classroom remained under control. Contrary to the popular notion that teenagers really just want to “muck around”, instead, the opposite was true. This comes as no surprise to some of us in the helping professions who understand that we all feel safe when behaviour is being controlled whether it is in the kindergarten, the schoolroom or the workplace. Adolescents want to both feel safe and be able get on with the process of learning.
Secondly, the results showed that more than 85% of the students also wanted teachers who cared about them as individuals and who respected their ideas and suggestions.
It’s the same age old principle that makes for effective parenting, effective teaching and effective managing, namely, the balance of both structure and boundaries as well as care and support.
It’s not hard really. It’s just a real pity that so many parents, teachers and bosses don’t get it.