Teenage Frustration

They’re a pain sometimes.

I’m currently working a group of teenagers on a 2 week project and we’ve just returned from the dreaded weekend break. I say dreaded, I could not wait for a weekend off after a 12 day run of work without a break! But the weekend off has successfully drained all of the motivation from my group. Friday afternoon the group were up, cohesive and passionate about their chosen project, but now, they’re like animals in a zoo.

No matter what re-direction, incentives and general telling’s off do, they’re gone again, back to their phones, dicking around. On residential programmes, we almost rely on the group getting progressively more tired as a behaviour management trick. Exhausted teenagers are less likely to act up and more like to, albeit slowly, get shit done.

It’s also the other edge of the laid back facilitator sword. You lose a bit of the authority a teacher has. Being chilled, ‘cool’ and on board with the young people helps on an emotional and operational level, but it does backfire occasionally when you have to use teacher discipline. However, the LAST thing I want to be is a teacher, but it does come with its authority bonuses.

Then, no doubt, they’ll pull it together in the 11th hour as they always do and I’ll swell with pride during their final event. But for now, it’s cursing them internally. A lot. A whole lot.


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