While all teenage behavior and character traits can be challenging, the issues facing the at-risk teenager are particularly thorny and deserve special attention. Anger, aggression, and a total lack of good decision-making happen on a minute-to-minute basis, as teachers patiently try to guide these young adults. Unlocking the key to keeping them in school and facilitating proficiency in reading, writing, and math is not for the weak of heart. A strong constitution, compassionate spirit, and solid knowledge base make the difference in this meaningful work. Neuroscientists now have the technology to make amazing and startling discoveries about this unexplored territory. Combining their work with the work of psychologists and educationists is creating a new and exciting landscape for educators. In Teaching the At-Risk Teenage Brain Sheryl Feinstein provides research in a reader-friendly way to help teachers and administrators better understand the at-risk student. Feinstein also includes numerous brain-compatible instructional strategies and classroom management techniques, all intended to teach, support, and guide at-risk teenage students.
Beyond the challenges posed by No Child Left Behind restraints and constraints, teachers face challenges posed daily by their at-risk students. By spelling out the neurological and behavioral complexities of at-risk students, Feinstein provides teachers with insights and strategies that answer questions about how to meet the needs of today's vulnerable students.
Teaching the At-Risk Teenage Brain is a practical resource for any teacher or parent dealing with middle school through high school-aged adolescents. The author clearly has a handle on how the teenage brain works and shares many vivid examples of how to decelerate potentially volatile classroom management problems. Current research on the biological make-up of the adolescent brain is blended with many helpful instructional strategies to keep teens focused, secure, and challenged to learn!
Becky A. Bailey
Sheryl Feinstein offers a wealth of brain-compatible instructional strategies in a reader-friendly way as she explores the what, why, and how of the at-risk adolescent brain. This book is a helpful read for anyone working with teenagers
Dr. Feinstein has done it again. Not only has she made understanding the teenage brain more accessible in this book, she has loaded it with practical suggestions in each chapter for teachers and parents of at risk adolescents...This is a highly useful book including information that every teacher of at-risk teenagers must know. Parents should find this equally as valuable in helping adolescents challenged by the pressures of their age...Feinstein tackles all the issues that teachers and parents face when dealing with at risk youth. In every chapter she includes strategies and skills critical to meeting the demands of these children. A must for anyone needing a masterful understanding of what the brain of the teenager is facing!
There is a scientific explanation as to why teens are moody, argumentative, and impulsive. In fact, their brains are "under construction" as adolescents, causing many of the challenging behaviors that parents and teachers find so difficult to handle. According to this new book, which is based on medical studies, a teen brain has an underdeveloped frontal lobe. As children move through puberty and into adulthood, some of the side effects are forgetfulness, disorganization, and poor decision making. Adults who work with teens need to remember to use tolerance and keep in mind that teenage behavior is not a permanent condition. The book is geared primarily towards teachers, but can also be helpful to parents as well. The author clarifies that not all teenagers are considered "at risk." Some signs of an at-risk teen in need of intervention include family conflict, delinquent friends, academic failure, and drastic mood swings. In each of the ten chapters, the author discusses different aspects of understanding and working with these teens, covering such topics as extreme emotions, social interactions, classroom behavior, depression, and addictions. The chapters contain real-life stories, an explanation of the topic, and a list of practical strategies and tips. Many of the ideas and information that the author puts forth will seem obvious to an experienced teacher or an aware parent. The book will probably be more helpful to adults who are not used to working with this population or those who have forgotten what it is like to be an adolescent. Reviewer: Leslie Wolfson
Sheryl Feinstein is associate professor at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She consults at a correctional facility for adolescent boys and at a separate site for emotionally and behaviorally disturbed adolescents in Minnesota. She is a former teacher, curriculum coordinator, and director of a high school alternative program.
1 The At-Risk Teenage Brain 2 Teaching the At-Risk Adolescent 3 Staying and Thriving in School 4 An Emotional Commotion 5 Emotions Gone Awry 6 The Social Life of Teens 7 Getting Physical 8 Meeting Special Challenges 9 Addiction: Alcohol, Drugs, and Smoking 10 One More Chance: Education in Juvenile Correctional Facilities