We are all aware of the sad statistics and educational obstacles that youth in foster care encounter. A student must adjust to different curricula, different school culture, different teachers, and different peers each time they enter a new school. Regularly changing schools often has negative social, emotional, and academic effects on youth already burdened by past trauma. Many young people in foster care are diagnosed with learning disabilities, are over-medicated, are placed in remedial classes, must repeat grades, or must contend with low expectations overall. These experiences often result in minimal academic achievement or youth dropping out of high school. It has been reported that less than 70% of youth in foster care finish high school before leaving care.
Improving educational outcomes for youth in care is a critical component to increased emotional well-being, a smoother transition into adulthood, and long-term economic security. Today I want to continue our academic empowerment blog series with additional strategies to help students do their best in school.
Teens need opportunities to succeed and recognition for a job well done. – Nicki Sanders
In addition to pinpointing academic deficiencies and identifying student interests, helping students recognize their academic strengths and discover how they learn best is essential to helping them do their best in school. Educators, foster parents, and child welfare workers with an understanding of learning styles (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic) is better equipped to challenge and motivate a struggling student internalize and recall information that is presented to them.
1. Visual Learners learn best through seeing.
They may think in pictures and learn best from visual displays including: diagrams, illustrated text books, overhead transparencies, videos, flipcharts and hand-outs. They remember things best by seeing something written and often take detailed notes.
2. Auditory Learners learn best through listening.
They learn best through reading aloud, lectures, talking things through and listening to what others have to say. They remember best through hearing or saying items aloud.
3. Tactile/Kinesthetic Learners learn best through experiencing, moving, doing and touching.
They may find it hard to sit still for long periods and may become distracted by their need for activity and exploration.
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Nicki Sanders, MSW, Chief Visionary Officer
The Teen Toolbox utilizes youth portfolio development and civic engagement and academic empowerment strategies to help teens set goals for life after high school and create a road map to reach those goals through its PACKAGED FOR SUCCESS™ Programs. We are committed to supporting and raising awareness about the needs and potential of teenagers in the foster care system.
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