As a high school teacher, I get to be around a lot of great students. I’m amazed and wow’ed at some of the things they come up with. Their wit keeps me laughing to myself most moments. They have great smiles, great ideas and the beginnings of great adults.
Given the proper time, situation, surroundings and cohorts, though, these same wonderful children I love so much become mean little monsters in the blink of an eye. Crazy!
I’m not referring to them adorning boxing gloves and going at it in the lunch room although every once in a while we have something like that happen on our camps (minus the gloves, of course)–I’m talking about the things other than “sticks and stones,” because we all know words will ALWAYS hurt us. Whoever came up with that slogan that says the opposite had to be either a big dummy or a huge comedian. Words can be like knives to the heart no matter how they are delivered and these days, there are so many ways to deliver them. You have face to face and word of mouth like always, but we’ve added email, blogs, social media and the ever mysterious anonymous text. I’m thinking, really, who’s got time for that!? ((Ain’t nobody got time for that! –or shouldn’t have anyway!))
High school age humans are the best at using words to break down others’ confidences. I truly believe, though, when we as adults do all we can do to instill confidence in those same students, they will be the BEST at BUILDING UP others’ confidences. It’s a domino effect! Of course, you will always come up against those few dominoes that think they know more than you do, have more walls than what you are used to hitting or even have many more aspects of life going against them than you can ever imagine, but you have to keep on. You must try and tame the mean little monsters. OHhhhh yes, it’s tough and some days pretty hairy and scary, but as adults, no matter what your job is, our main job is to mentor our children.
I know, in my case, I have so many opportunities to do this thanks to the job God has blessed me with. Perhaps you don’t have as many of those opportunities, but when you do get any small chance to make a young person feel like they matter–DO IT! If we can all bond together to do this…I am convinced —CERTAINLY POSITIVE— that this can help change our world and diminish the number of those MEAN LITTLE MONSTERS.