This is a great article that helped me to remember the unique situation of the students I teach every day.
As research indicates, our brains are only about 80% complete by adolescence. So many of the “adult”-like actions that we expect from teenagers, like thinking about consequences for their action, are not connected and developed yet within their brain structures.
And even more alarmingly, our brains may be permanently affected by trauma that we receive as adolescents. So if our kids are getting picked on or bullied, not only are there the immediate and long-term psychological effects, there are actual physical effects that can be passed down to the next generation. Yes – There is evidence that the brain adapts to high school drama and changes its physical structure. Then when that victim of bullying has kids of their own, they pass down DNA that creates the same physical brain traits that resulted from the parents’ high school experience.
Wow! I always kept an eye on my kids for signs of bullying or other abuse, but I always did it for their own sake. Now I know that not only am I protecting my students, I am protecting their children in the future. America’s most important job just got that much more important!Share