Q: after several years away from teaching and social services, I have taken a job
teaching GED skills and adult living skills to teen moms with mental/emotional
illness. I will have 5 16-21 year olds in a privately funded day program.
My question is....I'm not sure how to get started. I've taught primary age
students mostly. I haven't dealt with teens. One of my girls wants to go to
college- I think she will need computer and test-taking skills, as well as
intensive work in the areas she wants to study. Does anyone know of public
domain GED prep and test taking software? Where can I download this?
Any other tips?
Do you need "classroom rules" with teens in such a small group, and do they
need to be posted like they do in younger grades?
A:I would treat them like any other class with regard to rules. Don't presume because they are older they will have respect for you, the other students, or school property. At this age you could have them help you create 5 basic rules to help the class run smoothly. All groups of people need written guidelines in order to maintain order and cut down on wasting time with constantly reaffirming basic expectations. My students were not used to actually "discussing" things like this. So I created my own based on a few offerings and have changed them as the need arose...and always posted on a BIG piece of posterboard. I teach high school educable mentally handicapped, 14-18, and my experience is that their social skills are of children much younger. So you might want to include this, especially if preparing them for job interviews and employment is part of your responsibility. Have you been given ANY curriculum materials? Yes, you need publicly posted rules. If nothing more than to remind them of classroom expectations and etiquette. I teach 7th graders, and my students vary between mentally handicapped with emotional disturbance, and just mentally handicapped with other disabilities. I advise starting with daily living skills. Teach them to fill out a job application, how to shop for groceries, and such. There are books you can get that will let you use worksheets to do this, and your students will react much better to hands on/in-the-field type activities. You can start with: http://www.remedia.com for some of the worksheet books. All of Remedia's books are on the 4th grade reading level. Some of your students may not be. Remedia sells grocery store and menu math books, also consumer math of other types including checking accounts. PCI Catalog has some games and a whole set of curriculum with worksheets for teens with learning problems to engage them in life-skills activities. http://www.pcicatalog.com Check out the Council for Exceptional Children's LCCE (Life-Centered Career Education Curriculum). It was designed for teens with emotional and learning disabilities. Its extrememly comprehensive, but its not cheap either. I've used a book, with great success, called 'Living on Your Own'. Its available from Lakeshore Learning (I don't know if they have a website, I found both my teacher copy and my student copy at a teacher supply store), and I think PCI may sell it also. Each student needs a workbook for this program, ideally. The neat thing about the daily living skills activities is that they cover a lot of the material on the GED: Writing skills, math (decimals, percentages, fractions, basic equations), reading comprehension skills. It doesn't really do a lot with social studies, but the CEC curriculum does have that included.
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