Well, this past weekend, I was given the opportunity to spend Sunday and Monday with five high school students. I picked them up at 8:00 am. The three hour trip was pretty quiet. No talking, just everyone plugged into their own music. While there, the kids found themselves overwhelmed with music, people, and excitement! Ice breakers got the kids moving. Then Kyle Scheele spoke to us. My take away from him was that all great stories begin with pain. This is true in real life as well. Even when you do everything right, you can have bad things happen to you.
Later that evening, we met El Broussard. What impressed me was that despite the fact that there were several hundred students in attendance, El knew that he had spoken with my students and that they were good kids. The kids loved his workshop. They encouraged me to attend the advisor’s workshop the next day. When I did, El again mentioned that he remembered my kids. He stressed information that I had learned as a step-mom. Relationships are the key to teaching and life. As a step-mom and parent, I learned that I could not effectively discipline or teach my kids without a relationship. Last year in the middle of the school year, I was asked to co-teach an eighth grade PE class. I was told that the students were trouble. However, I started looking at the class roster and I knew these were the ‘good’ kids. I couldn’t understand how they were trouble. As I began teaching, I learned that many of the students just weren’t athletic. I built relationships with them and things got better.
On Monday, we began with Heather Schultz. I came away with a ton of quotes from her. She told the story of her pregnancy just a few years ago. It was one where she got emotionally and physically sick. She cried over milk–no, she bawled. When her baby was born, she was eight pounds less than her pre-pregnancy weight and she had been in the hospital 26 times! At 24 weeks after conception, she had to have an emergency c-section. Her little girl was born weighing one pound and fitting into the palm of her hand. After many months, her little daughter came home. We learned a lot about life from this little girl. I’ll give these insights in my twitter account this week.
The way home was different than the way to the conference. The students still plugged into their music, but there were discussions as well. “Who was your favorite speaker?” After everyone answered, the next question came up. “What do you want to do because of what you learned?” The encouraging thing was that I wasn’t the one asking the questions. It was students. I’m excited to see what next year holds. The students want to be a part of leadership class. They are enthusiastic to do the fundraising for the fall conference.
So, this week as you go about your days, remember “life is pain, Princess.” So, make sure that “no one is a leftover” and that you make relationships with those around you–even those who are difficult to get along with.