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HomeHealth & BehaviorEmotional Well-Being

What teachers know

Great tips from great teachers that can make a difference for your child.

By GreatSchools Staff

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Roy Hudson on getting teens to like themselves

Position and school: Director of theater, Shades Valley Theatre Academy, Shades Valley High School; Irondale, Ala.
Years teaching:
16
Top teaching boast:
Alabama 2009 Teacher of the Year
On being a teacher: "Before I was a teacher, I worked for the Olympics and the PGA, where you better do it right. So when I went to teach school, I had the same approach. I always expect the best from my kids.”

"Adolescence is absolutely the hardest age period for kids. Their hormones are rampant. There’s so much peer pressure and so many influences that don’t have to do with parents — the media, the Internet, Facebook. But kids this age cannot produce anything good if they don’t love themselves. You can see the obvious kids who hate themselves. It’s very important that kids like themselves. Once they do, then everything falls in place.

"As parents, find something special about your child. Then tie that in with something they can get involved with. I suggest to parents: Sign your child up for something. Say to your child, 'Let’s try this. Let’s try that.' Never give up on kids.

"We had a kid whose mother worked in the theater for years. She said, 'I want him to come to the academy. But he can’t sing or dance.' When I met him, he wouldn’t speak or look me in the eye. I said, 'I can’t take him if he can’t speak.' His mother said, 'Let me try with him again.' Finally, he spoke with me, and I said, 'OK, let’s give you a try.' He’s now a sophomore. It turns out he’s brilliant running a light board. We’ve gotten to the point that the kids respect him so much. The other day it was his 16th birthday. The kids brought cupcakes, noisemakers, and grabbed him and put a tutu and crown and Mardi Gras beads on him. They really love him."

Comments from GreatSchools.org readers

07/19/2010:
"'Most teachers dont care about what the child is going through. My child is going through to much and will not speak out in fear of being yelled at or put in a corner. some teachers shun him off. so tell me how is a child suppose to get help when no one not even the teacher you trust will help when a child ask for help. "
07/19/2010:
"Thursday, June 10, 2010, 12:53pm I am neither a teacher nor a parent but I mentor and coach young adults and have worked in a high school for at-risk youth as Internship Manager. I witnessed the difference teachers like Mike Carten make the lives of their students -- people like him are our true modern-day heroes! Eileen Hunter "
05/24/2010:
"Yes, it is Great that the Teacher would like to know more about what is going on at home. In a lot of family's there is DV. These children are ususally scared, quiet or may even act out. If these children can find a person they can trust to share there scared emotions with out consequences to them. I was a nurse in women's health care and a former battered wife, the children are affected no matter what. Even if they don't see the violence they still hear it."
05/19/2010:
"Most teachers dont care about what the child is going through. My child is going through to much and will not speak out because no one will listen to him. they all shun him off. so tell me how is a child suppose to get help when no one not even the teacher you trust will listen when a child ask for help. "
05/17/2010:
"As a youth coach, I couldn't agree more. Often when pairing teammates, if I know of medical diagnoses, or other issues, I can make it a point to pair kids up who won't push each other's buttons, or worse."
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