Caring for Teens




I’m not a fatalist, but I am more and more concerned with the negative impact of ‘life’ on the lives of our adolescents.  I’m seeing an increasing number of students who struggle with the complexity of their lives and the impact those complexities have on learning, connecting, and life.

With that in mind, I have to say that the quote above from Josh Shipp resonates with me at the deepest levels of who I am.

My school is blessed with so many educators whose desire is to teach way beyond the curriculum; people who desire to understand and deeply care for the young adolescents in their care.  Weekly, perhaps even daily, I hear of a staff member who had the chance to explore life with a student.  And this mentioning comes from a genuine desire to develop real relationship with the students.

I’m also very aware of the need of students to share their story with an adult who cares.

Recently I had cause to speak with a student about a behaviour issue that was quite out of character.  This is a young man I did not know and had never previously spoken to.  And yet, in the course of our conversation, he chose to disclose some significant and deeply-impacting life scenarios – stuff that is way beyond what any teenager should have to deal with.

I have no idea why he chose to trust me and share that stuff with me but the fact is, he did.  For some reason he felt safe to do so.  And the result of knowing that just one person at the school knows his life story seemed to have a impact on the way he viewed his life at school.

Right person; right place; right time.

Sometimes it really is that simple to ease the pain life brings.


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