20 December 2011

Lessons learnt from Nurturing the Student course

Behind every anger is a hurt. Anger is the expression of a hurt, not the primary emotion. And the difficult thing with hurt is that it is usually repressed and not easily observed. The angry students that we see so often in class are mostly hurt and are expressing it in the one way that they know.

Some key things that will help our students:
- help them find, or be for them that ONE caring adult in their life.
- Help them to know: "I can do it" - give courage
- Teach them to effectively use their time.

Things to try:
a) Ask the question, "If there's an emergency and that you need to call someone (an adult), who will that person be?" Question is asked to find out if students has any adult figures in their life that they can depend on. If yes, chances are that they will be helped in their life.
b) Draw a diagram of your 3 best friends in class. Key idea here is to find out about their contacts, their friends who they can influence or who will influenced them. We can also try to link them up with better friends who can positively influence them.
c) Encourage students to start again after years of failing. Take a piece of paper and write down their failures to tear it up and start again.
d) Teach correct ways to discharge anger - incorrect: vandalise, hurt others... Correct: I don't need to be angry with you if you are angry with me. Anger can be a choice.
e) Help youths plan step by step for the future

For career choices, help them to choose one where their strengths, passion and meaning/values overlap.

Reminded by the trainer that we cannot save everyone, especially those that want to 'drown' themselves, but we need to look out for those who want to save themselves but don't know how. We need to let go for the former, and extend help for the latter.

My own main take home lesson - be that ONE caring adult in at least one student per term. Look for that one student to extend help. For far too long, I have held back and just do my safe respectable job. If I want to find meaning, I need to start reaching out and start talking and listening and do more.

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