Understanding Youth
A Website for Educators Who Work with Adolescents
Our work is dedicated to helping educators construct answers to questions such as these in a way that promotes high academic achievement, psychosocial well-being, and meaningful relational connection. In this work, we define “educators” inclusively so that teachers, counselors, administra-tors, psychologists, social workers, and paraprofessionals working in schools are all understood as indispensable developmental mentors in the lives of youth. Our core belief is that we teach, counsel, administrate, and learn best when we understand what’s at stake for our students, how our relationships with them evolve, and how we grow with them through our work in schools. Join us!How_to_Contact_Us.htmlshapeimage_2_link_0
Teachers, counselors, administrators, social workers, and school psycholo-gists strive every day to meet the diverse needs of their adolescent students. The importance of this work and the rewards these educators experience when it is done well are rarely overestimated. Beyond the nitty gritty of lessons, assessments, schedules, meetings, and cumulative files, however, many educators struggle to understand who their students are and why they do what they do. 

They may ask:

How am I to make sense of my students’ behaviors in school? Why do they act that way?
What can I do to support both their academic growth and psychological health during the school day?
How might I understand my teenage students’ development as they move from childhood ways of knowing and being to adult modes of thinking and behaving?
And seriously..How can I even get to these questions when school cultures are often fixated on AYP figures, API scores, and students’ performances on standardized tests?