How to motivate your teen for the new academic year in Spain’s education system

Getting your teenager back to school after the long summer break can be difficult – especially if they’ve dressed lazily over the summer or, as recent reports have suggested, are terrified of what lies ahead in class.

The Olive Press talks to two public school teachers about how to engage and engage teenagers in their education.

Kevin The Teenage School
Kevin the teenager. Photo: Wikipedia.

Anna Moreno Rodríguez – teaches in Almanjáyar, Granada

Anna is a maths teacher at Institut La Paz in Almanjáyar, Granada – a school classified as having “particular difficulties” due to social issues in her community. She has been teaching since 2006.

She advises: “Motivation for teenagers is always difficult, especially after the holidays as it is difficult for them to return to work after the summer lack of routine.

“When there is a good relationship with the students, more goals are achieved. When the school returns, teachers try to present the content in a fun and entertaining way, working on projects and using new methods and resources – both manual and digital.”

Noting the age-old problem of children truanting from school, she says, “We have some protocols where families are notified first, but if that doesn’t work, they’re referred to social services.”

Annie Spratt Xkjunfwfz3's Unsplash
An older teenager is studying on her laptop. Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash.

Nobody wants to have the welfare office at their door – how can parents avoid that?

“Teachers can advise families on habits, study techniques, conflict resolution and emotional intelligence, but the most important thing is family involvement in home education and values. That is a problem today.”

She thinks that some parents have lost track of their children’s schooling and should get more involved.

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She says, “Parents have constant access to the teaching and learning process with in-person and phone appointments and online messaging systems.”

One of them is iPasen, which parents can install on their mobile phones.

From 2022, students who failed their final exams in June will no longer be able to repeat them in September: This surprised some parents.

“From this academic year onwards, there will no longer be any catch-up opportunities in September, except in the first year of the Abitur. Students are assessed continuously and it is not just the exams that count. It is difficult for a student to fail when they have performed well in the first trimester.

“When a student repeats the year, a personalized follow-up is carried out at our school so that they improve and achieve the goals. If they need to do something better, the families are called.

“To motivate a repeat offender, you need to make them understand that doing another year is not a punishment, but that they need to mature in their work.”

Eliott Reyna Jcepn62owl4 Unsplash
Motivate young people to go to school. Photo: Elliott Reyna/Unsplash

Eleuterio Leal Figueroa – Secondary school teacher in Alcala la Real

Eleuterio works in secondary school and high school and currently teaches at IES Alfonso XI in Alcala la Real, Jaen. She has been an English teacher since 2006.

“Motivating students is always difficult, but after the holidays it’s even more difficult! Try to make them understand how important good academic performance is for their future work and motivate them every day.

“With parents, we try to teach them the importance of a good education for their children’s future and insist that they be consistent.”

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“Parents can access specific information about their children and exam grades via tutoring systems (e.g. the iPasen mobile app) during the course.”

“Try to convince the student that they need to make an effort and work harder to complete the course.”

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