As children enter the age of adolescence, they start to learn very differently. Compared to the egocentric thoughts and feelings that children have, teenagers tend to be more sensitive to their environment and peers. However, they are new to these thoughts and feelings and are still nowhere near mastering them. This situation makes it challenging to teach and train these young students once they enter secondary school. However, this makes it even more fulfilling.
You might be a secondary school teacher who has been assigned to create a training program for your class or a bunch of teenagers, or you might be some random individual who’s interested in making a program for the youth in your community. It doesn’t matter who you are because anyone can create an effective training program for teens by following these essentials. Here are ideas you should keep note of when creating a training program for teenagers.
Constructive Criticism and Feedback
As we grow up, we become more sensitive to what other people say to us. Criticism becomes a part of our daily lives, and once we get a job, there is not a single day when we are not criticized. The younger generation must understand this, but they should understand it clearly and precisely.
When creating a training program for teens, there is one thing you should concentrate on, and that is feedback. Many teenagers can be quite sensitive to feedback. This is why negative reinforcement tends to play a big role in their growth if you want them to stop doing a particular behavior. However, explaining their faults and mistakes during a training session can also be so much more helpful than mere negative reinforcement. Constructive criticism can play a big part in how they learn. Unlike children who relate criticism to scolding, teenagers can actually learn something from someone criticizing if done in a creative and controlled manner.
Use Topics They Care About
The next thing you should consider is what are the topics that engage them the most. Knowing the topics that they deeply care about can be really helpful when making a program. For example, currently, it is reported that many Generation Z deeply cares about the environment. They might be interested in things like tree surgeon training or tree planting exercises. These particular programs can strike true emotions from their hearts, leading them to stay engaged with the training program from beginning to end. But the teenagers within your class or in your community might not be interested in this particular topic. So it’s time to go out there and ask.
If you aren’t sure yet what your teens are interested in, it’s time for you to ask them. You can either talk to them privately or run a survey to see what topics they are truly interested in. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Talking to them can yield more unique answers but is time-consuming, while running a survey can be faster but can result in mainstream answers. Consider how much time you have and what kind of answers you want to maximize what you can do for the program.
Uniqueness and Belongingness
Creating the best training programs for teens requires you to understand who they are as individuals. Remember that at this point, identifying their uniqueness as an individual plays a big role in both their self-esteem and personality development. But you shouldn’t leave them out of the group either. It can be a meticulous balance between these things: their uniqueness and need to belong.
You should balance these two traits when creating a training program. Being able to balance these two will make your training program memorable. However, if you can’t do it right now, don’t be afraid! You’ll be able to do it more once you get a bit more experience. But there is one way you can tackle these two traits by the end of your training session, and this is through debriefing.
Debriefing plays a fundamental role in how training programs work. Many trainers believe that it is the singular, most fundamental piece of the puzzle and that without debriefing, a training program won’t simply work. Although this might not be entirely true, no one can really dismiss the fact that debriefing is important for every training program. It singles out unique experiences that individuals may have from the session while also addressing the group. It also drives in the topic you have in mind and create a clear course for where the group needs to go. It’s important, and you should have it in the training program you are planning out with your teens.
Here are some things you should keep in mind when creating a training program for teenagers. Remember that this particular demographic can be quite sensitive, so take it easy on them, but not too easy that you end treating them like children. Just follow your guts and understand them as individuals, and by the end of the day, your training program will leave a lasting impact on their lives.