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Teaching the Whole Teen

Teaching the Whole Teen
Everyday Practices That Promote Success and Resilience in School and Life

© 2017 | 288 pages | Corwin

How can you help teens thrive now and for life? Support them as whole learners.

Developing independence and shared responsibility. Collaborating and communicating effectively. Establishing valuable work habits. Harnessing emotions. Finding motivation. We all want teens to acquire these vital skills and engage meaningfully in academics. In this insightful and culturally responsive guide, Poliner and Benson integrate these lifelong skills into daily practices through

  • Practical applications for diverse populations in every class, advisory, team, or club
  • The latest research on best practices from adolescent psychology, neuroscience, mental health, and school climate
  • Tools for teachers, administrators, counselors, and parents to help teens succeed now and later in school, home, workplace, and community.

Teaching the Whole Teen supports adolescents and adults within the school to thrive.

Check out this interview with BlogTalkRadio!

"This treasure-trove of inventive, concrete ideas offers a gift to our profession."
Roland Barth, Educator

“…the book to turn to when you are working with teens, when you desperately need help, when seeking solace.”
John Hattie, Professor & Director, Melbourne Education Research Institute
University of Melbourne

"…explicitly addresses the unique needs of students of color, students from poverty, and immigrant students in ways that other books don't; should be read by every middle and high school educator."
Zaretta Hammond, Educational Consultant

“…manifests the best thinking in modern education”
Rick Wormeli, Teacher, Writer, Education Consultant

"What a treat to read! Every principal will benefit from reading it."
Thomas Hoerr, Emeritus Head
New City School, St. Louis, MO

About the Authors
Part I. Seeing the Whole Teen
Chapter 1. The Whole Teen Comes Into the School
Chapter 2. The Whole Teen Comes Into a Dominant Culture
Part II. Everyday Practices
Chapter 3. Connecting to Adults and Peers, Not Just to Academics
Chapter 4. Creating a Culture of Shared Responsibility, Not Just Obeying
Chapter 5. Learning Collaboratively, Not Just Nearby
Chapter 6. Communicating Effectively, Not Just Mumbling, Exploding, Avoiding, or Texting
Chapter 7. Managing Work and Developing a Work Ethic, Not Just Passing or Cramming
Chapter 8. Developing Emotional Skillfulness Proactively, Not Just Reactively
Chapter 9. Becoming More Independent, Not Just Alone
Chapter 10. Connecting Lessons to Life, Not Just to Tests
Part III. The Whole School Surrounds the Whole Teen
Chapter 11. Leaders Set the Tone for Themselves and Others
Chapter 12. Schoolwide Structures, Practices, and Policies That Support the Whole Teen
Chapter 13. Faculty Culture That Supports the Whole Teen
Chapter 14. The Novice Teacher Comes Into the School
Appendix: Formats and Facilitation Tools

"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." 

Jennifer Abrams, Educational Consultant
Author of Having Hard Conversations & The Multi-Generational Workplace

"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."

Roland S. Barth, Educator

"An important contribution to the field of SEL with a much-needed focus on teens in middle and high schools - this book highlights the importance of relationships to cognitive and social growth, explicitly teaching SEL skills, and the role of adults as models. Combining research and best practices from multiple disciplines, Poliner and Benson deliver accessible, hands-on tips and tools for educators and educational leaders. Through discussion of theory and helpful anecdotes from a wide range of school settings, this book provides an SEL guide that is culturally relevant for all teen and adult populations. Students and educators will benefit from the holistic approach and practical guidance presented in this book."

Nova Biro, Co-Director
Open Circle

"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."

Gustava Cooper-Baker, Principal

"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."

David G. Daniels, High School Principal
Susquehanna Valley Senior High School

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1: The Whole Teen Comes Into the School

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ISBN: 9781506335889

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