It seems amazing to me–I look back and cannot believe it has only been five months since I started my job at Escape. Yet, it feels like I have been there all my life because I love the people I work with, am used to the routine of getting up and going to see my students (although there is no “routine” when students are always coming and going). My mind is constantly going with thoughts and ideas of how I can do a better job for the young people I work with. Even when I am trying to sleep at night they come to mind. Prayers are constantly being lifted up for them, earnestly asking God to protect them and help them make the changes needed to make their lives move in a positive direction.
One area I have acknowledged this week that I definitely need to change is my ability to be the person in charge. I tend to tell the students I don’t allow things and if they continue I will have consequences. But then I just keep warning them. I ask my workers/volunteers to please do specific work with specific students or to please not use their phones to text/call/play games/ check Facebook but I don’t do anything if they do. I need to show the students there are consequences for wrong actions. I need to hold my help accountable because the students are quick to observe when I don’t and will take advantage of that. I just hate to make others upset with me. I don’t want to have a confrontation if I can avoid it. But this does not make a good leader. I need to do what is best for the students. When one is in a position of authority, one is not always the most popular, well-liked person. I will definitely be praying about this, asking God to develop me in this area.
Every day, all day, the expelled students sit at a laptop doing their online classes. They are supposed to watch a video or two on a subject, practice what is being taught in the video, take a quiz, and then move on. After several quizzes there is a topic test. They don’t need to interact with others the whole day if they don’t want to. I hate this part. It isn’t real life where they will need to interact with people on a regular basis. There is no brainstorming for solutions or hands-on, real-life learning that happens. All of this is contrary to what I have been taught and what I have observed to work best for learning and retaining what has been learned. I have begun to work on some “enrichment classes” so we can do some of this. But I keep trying to figure out a better way to do this. Unfortunately, I don’t think there is. The students come and go at all times so they are at different spots in the curriculum as well as at different grade levels. They come from different schools with different criteria for what is passing and what is not. I feel like part of my gifts aren’t being used–I love to write lesson plans and am able to do a pretty good job of it. It is less work and less stress which is nice, though. Another item to add to the prayer list for work!
This past Thursday we went to Holland Rescue Mission to volunteer again. The students that came with seemed to enjoy it and I think it is good for them. Now I need to find a place to go next month. I want to get them out and into the community so those who see them and interact with them will see they are no different than any other young person.
Enough of my rambling–thank you for taking the time to read my blog!