Monday, June 2, 2008
A new day and a new house
Not our house; today we started working in a new student house on campus. Last week we worked with high school boys, this week we are in one of the girl's homes. We also have a new partner to train us and he is a vegetarian! Yay! We can get a perspective on how to get by here without being a hunter. We may learn more about green living here as well since he seems to be a pretty earth conscious person. He also seems to have a more positive attitude toward the students. The person we worked with last week was very rule oriented and sort of into catching the kids being bad (read:being kids). Of course we want to know the rules and how to keep the kids and ourselves safe and in line with policy. But we are hoping for a relationship beyond guardian of the gates. High standards of cleanliness and good behavior are important but developing a trusting bond is even more important. I am not naieve, I have taught high school in inner city Chicago and on reservations, so of course kids will test you, push the boundaries and get into trouble. That's what kids do. It is actually their job to break with adult/parental authority, establish independence and learn how to survive semi-intact while doing this. Without good boundaries and guidelines we all struggle with our attitudes and behaviors. I am hoping to be able to, at least in part, be a person the students can count on and turn to if they are struggling. I am looking forward to the challenge.