Teaching High School Students

Learn the latest teaching strategies and techniques for helping secondary students achieve their dreams. This course will teach you how to differentiate instruction, manage a classroom, develop assessment strategies, gain parental support, and teach social-emotional skills that will help your students succeed in school and in life.

6 Weeks / 24 Course Hrs
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Offered in partnership with your preferred school


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Course code: ths

How can you reach students in the high school class? What can you do to motivate and teach so that your students are ready to succeed in life as well as school? In this course, you'll learn about the latest teaching strategies and techniques that can help your secondary students achieve academically and behave responsibly. You will cover a broad range of topics, including differentiated instruction, classroom management and discipline, assessment strategies, and gaining parental support. You will discover tips for creating need-fulfilling lessons that engage students, suggestions for using simulations and games that make learning enjoyable, and how to teach your students the social-emotional skills they need to succeed both in school and in life. You will learn how to motivate students with recognition, rewards, and reinforcement, how to deal with discipline problems, and the value of varying your assessment strategies.

Throughout the course, you will view videos that illustrate the concepts you're learning. You will hear from education experts and see actual classroom teachers demonstrating the techniques taught in this course. Guest experts appearing in the videos include Dr. William Glasser (Choice Theory), Dr. Carol Tomlinson (The Differentiated Classroom), Dr. Jane Bluestein (The Win-Win Classroom), and Jon Erwin (Inspiring the Best in Students). By the end of this course, you will have mastered proven ways to help your high school students succeed both in school and in life!

What you will learn

  • Learn about adolescent psychology to better understand your students and the choices they make
  • Learn to create engaging, effective lessons
  • Learn to create an orderly, smooth running classroom through ideas about seating arrangements, low-tech and high-tech aids to enhance instruction, and establishing a classroom constitution
  • Explore how to build positive relationships with students by providing a positive environment through the use of class meetings
  • Gain information and understanding of your students through student inventories
  • Learn how to effectively give positive reinforcement, effective encouragement, and create an effective school-wide reinforcement system
  • Learn how to help your students identify emotions in themselves and others and even how to disagree in a respectful manner
  • Discover ways to gain parental backing
  • Explore different types of assessments to evaluate student learning
  • Examine common discipline problems and ways to deal with them effectively and efficiently
  • Learn ways to deal with a violent or potentially violent situation
  • Discover how to use simulations, competitions, and games to enhance instruction

How you will benefit

  • Learn to reach, motivate, and teach your high school students so that they are ready to succeed in life as well as at school
  • Gain the knowledge of experts and see actual classroom teachers demonstrating techniques taught in this course

How the course is taught

  • Instructor-led online course
  • 6 Weeks access
  • 24 course hours

What motivates high school students? How do their brains work? You'll delve into those questions by taking a look at adolescent psychology. Understanding why your students make the choices they do can help you guide them to make better, more responsible choices. Plus, knowing how your students' brains function will help you create engaging, effective lessons.

You can have an orderly, smooth-running classroom! This lesson will show you several seating arrangements that you can use to match your teaching style. You'll find out about high-tech and low-tech aids that can enhance your instruction. You'll also receive a lesson plan that will help your students establish a classroom constitution. Everything you will learn in this lesson will help you teach smarter rather than teach harder.

In this lesson, you'll explore the role that relationships play in creating a classroom atmosphere that fosters academic achievement and responsible behavior. You'll learn to connect with your students and provide a positive environment for them. The lesson will discuss one of the most powerful relationship-building tools available: the class meeting. Finally, you'll learn about using interest inventories to get to know your students and thereby help them succeed.

It's time to look at recognition and positive reinforcement at the high school level. First, you'll learn the difference between ineffective praise and effective encouragement. Then, the lesson will discuss how effective positive reinforcement differs from conditional praise. Finally, you'll explore the key components of an effective schoolwide reinforcement system.

How can you use differentiated instructional strategies to meet your students' diverse needs? In this lesson, you'll find out how to determine your students' learning styles and how to use strategies such as flexible grouping to adapt your lessons to those styles. The lesson will also discuss using differentiated assessment strategies to allow your students to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.

How does social-emotional learning relate to your students' success in school? In this lesson, you'll investigate why SEL should be an integral part of your instruction. The lesson will explain how to teach your students to identify emotions in themselves and others. Then, you'll learn how to teach your students to manage their emotions and disagree with others in a respectful manner.

How can you create lessons that have their basis in your students' current knowledge, that meet their needs, and that take advantage of their strengths and preferences? You'll explore this complex issue and more in this lesson.

How can you gain support from your students' parents? This lesson will discuss the barriers that can prevent you from gaining parental backing. It will then talk about how you can overcome those barriers and create a home-school partnership. The lesson will also go over how you can conduct parent conferences—both regularly scheduled conferences and ones related to solving a problem.

In this lesson, you'll examine the more traditional question-based assessment. You'll then explore two types of assessment that focus on evaluating how students use what they've learned: problem-based and performance-based assessment.

Do you have students who use phones or other electronic devices without permission in your classroom? Do you have students who talk when they should be working? What about students who refuse to do their work or who cut class? You'll examine these common discipline problems and explore ways to deal with them effectively and efficiently.

How can you help students who are defiant and who resist your attempts to help them be more responsible? In this lesson, you'll look at preventive and remedial approaches to bullying and cyberbullying. You'll also examine what you should do when you face a violent or potentially violent situation.

How can eyedroppers and M&M's enliven your curriculum? In this lesson, you'll look at how to use simulations, competitions, and games to make your instruction fun and effective. The lesson will include examples from different subject areas and different parts of the country.

Annemarie Thompson

Annemarie Thompson is an award winning learning designer with over 15 years of experience in the distance learning industry. She produces courses on key teacher development topics including Differentiated Instruction, Classroom Discipline, and Classroom Management. Her courses have been offered by more than 100 colleges and universities and were the basis of an accredited online master's program.

Instructor Interaction: The instructor looks forward to interacting with learners in the online moderated discussion area to share their expertise and answer any questions you may have on the course content.


There are no prerequisites to take this course.


Hardware Requirements:

  • This course can be taken on either a PC, Mac, or Chromebook.

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows 8 or later.
  • Mac: macOS 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.

Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.

A new session of each course begins each month. Please refer to the session start dates for scheduling.​

Once a course session starts, two lessons will be released each week for the 6 week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends. You will interact with the instructor through the online discussion area. There are no live sessions or online meetings with the instructor.

The interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes two weeks after each lesson is released, so you're encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release. However, you will have access to all lessons from the time they are released until the course ends.​

Students enrolled in a six-week online class benefit from a one-time, 10-day extension for each course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.​