As I get deeper into this teaching gig I am faced with tons of “realities” but not necessarily truths. The reality for many kids is what they know of their own bubble in this world. they have not experienced the richness of life in its many forms, cultures, and governments. They are impressionable beyond your wildest dream. If you can captivate them and make them believe that what you are saying is the TRUTH then they will believe it and tell others what you are telling them. It is frightening and highlights to me the importance of keeping secular humanist thinking from running unchallenged in our school system.
On another note: the thugs that I encounter are very perplexing to me. There is a difference between someone dressing like a mainstream rap artist and someone being in a gang and looking the part. The gangsters at school are all giving me the same response when I ask them what they are planning on after high school…”I’m gonna make money!” I have not known how to respond until this weekend. I am going to use a couple of techniques to get them thinking. I will ask them what they are planning on doing with the money and maybe tell them a parable from a book I read about an recent Harvard MBA grad and a Spanish fisherman that he encountered. I might change the fisherman to someone they can relate with to see if that doesn’t help. I want them to realize that there is more to life than money.
I cannot stress the importance of having parental involvement even in their teenage years. My students are hungry for someone to follow that they can wrap their ego around and build their esteem with. A parent has influence into that decision whether they believe it or not. The teenager may push away but that does not mean that they don’t hear! One of my students is searching like crazy for his own identity. He is a strong, alpha-male type person who is very independent. Yet, he still listens to his STEPFATHER because he respects the man. His mom is German and I served with his stepfather in the service for a little bit before he retired. Get involved, stay involved, show them you care. If you know anyone who is discouraged about their teenager and trying not to hurt their relationship by backing off then slap them in the face and tell them to keep caring and letting their child know they care. You chasten those you love. It may hurt the both of you but you both know it is for the better, not the worse.
Enough said for now. Thanks for reading. Last week’s riddle answer: the cockroach.