Three things to take from back to school

Everything about this season is my favorite.

The students back at school, standing in the hallways and greeting each one with a hello. The staff, packed into the auditorium and dreaming up new ways to connect with every single student. The hours spent perfecting a syllabus and the constant interruptions at my door for a schedule change, a snack or a funny anecdote from Spanish class.

I will hold fast to the idea that you won’t meet a lot of people who love their jobs as much as I do. At my core, School Counseling is my jam. It pulsates through my every move and moment and is very much that place that screams “this is what you were made for!” Every ounce of me thinks that is what Jesus was talking about when He kept bringing up “kingdom”.

 I am often reminded that my sense of being “back” is not always echoed by my students. Removed from that stage in life, I forget the social pressures, the lack of school supplies and the stress of coursework and college planning.

As I think about Heart of the Rockies and its passion for youth, I’m reminded of that world and what we can do to love our youth fully and thickly.  I also mindful that I am not one of those youth anymore, so I asked a few students to share with me about what they wish adults in their world knew to support them best as they go back to school. They shared these:

1. Our kids need you to believe in them. “I need confidence. Everything about every day feels terrifying and overwhelming. I know you can’t “give me confidence”. But I need to know that someone sees me and believes in me. And then tells me that. I want to muster that confidence from within. But really I need to know that you already know that about me. Then maybe I can act on it.”

2. Our kids need you to remember that you were a kid one time too. “Don’t forget that you were me one time. I am young and I am going to make mistakes and do things that I probably shouldn’t. But at one point, you were me. You get caught up in bills and work and forget that when you are sixteen, boys are the rage and friends are the most important thing ever and not going to that concert or that sleepover might actually be the end of the world. When you approach things with the attitude that you are older, better and never wrong… I can’t trust you and I cannot relate to you.”

3. Our kids are ready and willing to change the world. “I am the future. The world is in my hands. We get this bad rap of being spoiled, inconsiderate kids who care about nothing but their phones. I feel like I get overlooked because of my age but here’s the reality… I know what is going on and I have experiences that give me insight and allow me to form an opinion. And, I think I have a lot to offer in terms of perspective because my mind hasn’t been clouded by the adult world.”

What an incredible invitation.

To speak confidence and life over our youth. To reflect and perhaps even share on our own experiences as youth. To believe in the future of our community and our world. And “back to school” aside… Is this not the same invitation made to us from the Lord daily? To walk in the confidence of a resurrected King, to choose trust and relationship and to walk out Kingdom on earth.

Welcome back!

Written by Cassie Poncelow, who loves working with young world changers at Poudre High School as a School Counselor and on staff with Global Leaders.

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