Health Education: Working With Teens
As any health educator who works with teens knows, working with teens can be incredibly challenging and even frustrating at times, but it also can be one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have. When you work with teens in the field of health education—whether the focus is on alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs; relationships and sex education (RSE); nutrition and physical activity; stress management; or some other topic—the instruction you provide can have a major impact in helping young people develop healthy lifestyle patterns that can affect their entire futures.
Health Edco offers a wide range of resources that are ideal to use for teen instruction in personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education , covering diverse health topics such as relationships and sex education, alcohol, tobacco, other drugs, nutrition, emotional and behavioural health, and much more.
Read on for tips for working with teens and to see just a few of our health education materials that are great for teen instruction.
Tips for Working With Teens
- Treat teens with respect, and expect them to respect you, too. Extend basic courtesies by using “please” and “thank you”.
- Let teens know in clear terms what your expectations are, and let them explain to you what their goals are. Be open to their suggestions and ready to adapt to meet their needs in the best way.
- Remember that teens are neither children nor adults; they are transitioning from childhood to adulthood. All teens—even teens who are becoming parents—are still in the process of developing into mature, responsible adults. Whilst they are confronting important questions about the present and the future, they also may be adapting their relationships with their own parents as they strive to be more independent.
- Keep in mind that teens do not have the same experiences to draw upon as adults do. They may need guidance in developing organisational skills, for example. Explore with teens any problems or circumstances that they may not be able to foresee as well as soon as possible solutions.
- Carefully listen to what the teens you are working with are saying and what their concerns are. Face whoever is speaking, be relaxed, and encourage the speaker to provide more information. Show interest in the speaker’s opinions, and provide thoughtful feedback.
- Make activities fun and challenging as well as educational. Be enthusiastic, maintain a positive attitude, and share your sense of humour.
- Show teens that you care with your dedication and commitment. Encourage them, let them know when they are doing a good job, and acknowledge their successes.
Remember: When you work with teens, it is important to build relationships with them. Take a genuine interest in their lives, and let them know you are there to help.
Health Edco Health Education Materials for Working With Teens
At Health Edco, we have PSHE materials and models that are designed with young people in mind as well as a full range of resources that are ideal for teaching teen and adult audiences. Below are just a few of our engaging health education resources that are perfect for working with teens.
Featuring four unique Health Edco products, our Drug and Alcohol Classroom Package is a comprehensive resource to teach ages 12 and up the facts about alcohol and a wide variety of other substances of abuse. The package includes three engaging activities and a comprehensive chart examining different drugs of abuse.
fun, educational activities and an informative chart.
An easy and economical way to spread the message that drink-driving is deadly, the package’s Smashed and Trashed™ Disposable Glasses Set includes 25 glasses that simulate the experience of being intoxicated (including loss of balance, distorted perception, and disorientation). The specially designed eyewear is made to be discarded after several uses. Comprehensive teaching suggestions provide memorable and entertaining activities with the glasses that reinforce the dangers of drinking and driving.
The best-selling Wheel of Misfortune™ Game adds a fun spin to the package and provides players with the opportunity to answer questions and learn about a wide variety of substances of abuse. Questions cover illegal, prescription, and over-the-counter drugs whilst also requiring players to develop value judgements.
The package’s Drugs and Alcohol Throw & Know™ Activity Ball gets young people moving as they learn about substance abuse. The large inflatable ball is covered with 60 questions about a full range of substances of abuse, from opioids to nicotine, alcohol, stimulants, depressants, marijuana/cannabis, and more. Players simply answer the question that falls closest to their right thumb when they catch the ball. The ball comes with a detailed activity and answer guide.
The laminated, included Drug Awareness Guide Chart (36" x 24") ties the package together as a comprehensive overview to different drug categories, how the drugs appear, how they are used, their effects and consequences, and signs of drug overdose. The guide makes a great quick-reference tool for prominent display that young people will refer to again and again during drug education lessons.
Concerns about vaping becoming popular among young people as it has in the US have made our E-Cigarettes & Vaping: A Closer Look 3-D Display a timely and valuable educational resource. Featuring sculpted 3-D models and images of a variety of vaping devices and e-liquids, the display is perfect to help explain the risks of e-cigarettes to young people while familiarising parents and educators about the diverse range of popular vaping devices.
realistic models and clear text to present the facts about vaping.
Explaining what are e-cigarettes are, a the display’s stand-alone panel (30 cm x 44 cm) teaches teens that e-cigarette use carries multiple risks, such as harms to brain development, nicotine addiction that may increase the likelihood of turning to cigarettes or other drugs, possible lung injury, and more. Within the Plexiglas-enclosed display, realistic, sculpted models of flavored disposable e-cigarettes, a vape pen, vape mods with sub-ohm tanks, a nic salt pod, and e-liquids with varying nicotine strengths demonstrate the types of vaping devices and e-liquids available.
Designed for young people ages 12 and up, the Wheel of Choices Game is an engaging way to explain that sexual decisions have consequences, which is why making informed decisions is essential. Playable in teams or individually, this game of chance has players spin the wheel and answer questions about contraception, anatomy, pregnancy, STIs, abstinence, sexual violence, and more.
learn how their decisions and behaviours matter.
Perfect for prompting discussion of serious issues in a non-threatening way, the game helps young people consider what makes a healthy dating relationship and what would be the best option for them in a variety of scenarios. The activity includes game cards and a detailed teaching guide.
Many teens juggle multiple stressors—from marks, to jobs, to social relationships and family responsibilities. Our colourful, three-panel, Teen Stress Folding Display is written just for teens to help them understand what stress is, how the body responds to stress, and how they can deal with stress in healthy ways.
includes tips to help teens manage stress in healthy ways.
Perfect for counsellors’ offices, school clinics, and health education classes, the display helps spark conversations among young people about what stressors they have and tips for handling stress in healthy instead of unhealthy ways. Encouraging teens to talk to someone they can trust when stress seems overwhelming, the display is a reassuring resource to let teens know they shouldn’t try to handle stress on their own.
Find More Great Resources for Working With Teens
Whether teaching about nutrition and physical activity, sex education, substance abuse, character development, and more, Health Edco has a wide variety of educational resources that are perfect for teaching teens about health. Browse our PSHE resources to find many more great activities, models, and materials for working with teens.
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