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"I sincerely feel that new and veteran teachers will benefit from reading and discussing this book. Readers are guaranteed to reflect upon current practice and be introduced to countless teaching strategies that will improve the educational experience of their students."
"Teaching the Whole Teen is a gem of a book, one that sparkles with brilliant insights, guidance and invaluable practical resources to support “everyday practices that promote success and resilience in school and life.” Poliner and Benson tap into evidence-based research within the fields of education, psychology (adolescent development), and social neuroscience to compellingly present why and how caring “whole school” environments, anchored by relational trust, can most optimally cultivate adolescents’ positive learning and development in secondary schools.
"Teaching the Whole Teen provides educators and administrators a comprehensive resource for teaching our diverse student population. The authors cohesively weave together the various principles of working with a myriad of diverse student populations including those that are often overlooked by other authors and educational researchers. Educators who are interested in elevating their practice and increasing authentic student engagement from theory into action should read this book."
"It is deeply refreshing and reinvigorating to read Rachel Poliner and Jeffrey Benson's book, Teaching the Whole Teen. These are two experienced and skilled educators, but it is not in these characteristics, valuable as they are, that their greatest power lies. Poliner and Benson never, ever lose sight of the reasons for which those of us who became educators did so. They carry with great strength and constant clarity the focus on students, their needs, and their best interests.
"As a former elementary school principal first in a K-5 setting and then K-8, this book would have been an excellent and valuable resource for understanding teenagers and middle school students.
I found so many practical strategies that I could have used with the students in the K-8 setting and shared with staff that had taught in a K-5 setting and also had to transition."
"Those of us striving to help educators re-envision family engagement as a partnership between home and school have been given a powerful gift in Teaching the Whole Teen. The authors’ suggestions of complementary strategies for school and home speak to the importance of adults working together to support youth, and provide tools for how to get there.
“It is an honor to learn from the wonderful and important beliefs and strategies presented in this book. I will be incorporating many of the ideas in my teaching.”
"If you think Teaching the Whole Teen is just another book about how to communicate with teenagers, then think again. Poliner and Benson have written a manual for how to provide social-emotional support in culturally responsive ways. It explicitly addresses the unique needs of students of color, students from poverty, and immigrant students in ways that other books don't. It is full of practice tools and clear guidance. This book should be read by every middle and high school educator."
"The authors have painstakingly tackled a very pertinent issue for middle and high school personnel. They not only thoroughly examine the entire child but they also do so by leaving no stone unturned. The child is addressed, the culture is addressed, and the people who work with the children are addressed. This is a great resource for anyone working with adolescents."
"At last we have a courageously written book that focuses on the needs of teens, versus the needs of the school systems. While this concept appears like revolutionary thinking, it is not. This is simply common sense whose time has come. The ideas and concepts advanced in this book promise to engage and motivate all students by strengthening their LOCUS of control, and quality of life."
"In their book Teaching the Whole Teen, Poliner and Benson provide the reader with practical applications that support student success in and outside the classroom. Grounded in solid research and contemporary thinking, their book reminds us that we are not only responsible for educating the minds of students, but we also have the opportunity to establish the conditions necessary for them to reach their fullest social and personal potential.
"‘Cogent writing, smart content, practical insights, and not a word wasted: Reading Poliner and Benson’s Teaching the Whole Teen is an unusually good use of an educator’s time. Thankfully devoid of simplistic platitudes, the authors reflect real students and teachers and the challenges each group faces in their collective enterprise. Finally, we have a clear-minded, research-based education book written by veteran educators that annihilates the notion of “teen intellect” as oxymoronic, and fully respects the complex realities of modern adolescent lives and brain power.
"This rich treasure-trove of inventive, concrete and well-grounded ideas offers a gift to our profession and to all who would strengthen the quality of life and learning for young people and adults under the roof of the schoolhouse."
"Teaching the Whole Teen is a wonderfully practical guide for educators who aspire to promote the social, emotional, and academic competence of middle- and high-school students. It offers compelling strategies for engaging, motivating, and inspiring young people (the “what” and “how”) and rationales for applying them (the “why”). This important book should be used in pre-service and in-service professional learning for teachers, administrators, and counselors. It will help them in their quest to educate knowledgeable, responsible, caring, and contributing young people.”
"Hallelujah! Benson and Poliner have written a book that many educators have been searching for - one that illuminates a pathway to develop important social and emotional skills that all adolescents need to master. There is much available in this domain that focuses on the needs of young children but fewer substantive resources for secondary educators (and parents!) interested in balancing academic accountability with vital skill development in self-efficacy, civic responsibility, and resiliency.
"Teaching the Whole Teen is an insightful, hopeful, and very practical resource for teachers, parents and schools. The book stays rooted in the day-to-day practice of teaching the whole teen, and it articulates in very doable ways suggestions for how to better support teenagers in their development. It’s accessible, inspiring, and a valuable read for all educators."
"What a treat to read! Poliner and Benson have created a treasure-trove of insights and strategies to improve teaching and leading. Their work is pragmatic and based on an appreciation and understanding of how teenagers learn and schools function. I was particularly struck by the specific strategies for principals. They are designed to facilitate both student and teacher growth. This book is interesting, informative, and insightful.
“Teaching and raising teens can be both fun and fiery! Poliner and Benson use the latest research to inform educators and parents about how to teach the teen, basing their work on the “whole person,” and teens do change and become interesting people! This is the book to turn to when you are working with students during the teen years, when you desperately need help now, and when you are seeking solace.”
"Finally, we have a book that applies the 'whole child' concept to the turbulent teenage years. In Teaching the Whole Teen, Rachel Poliner and Jeffrey Benson provide high school principals and teachers with a hands-on guide that applies the lessons of neuroscience and social-emotional learning to support healthy adolescent development and maximize learning."
"Implementing SEL skills into the secondary grades can feel contrived and artificial, and many secondary teachers don’t feel adequately trained or equipped to teach these skills. Finally the mountains of brain research that all teachers need to know and use have been put into a very useful and easy-to-read guide. Teaching the Whole Teen creates authentic ways to teach SEL skills that secondary curriculum almost always lacks. Rachel Poliner and Jeffery Benson have put together the perfect guide to teach secondary students the skills they need for life!"