Advice for Educators

Teaching Self-Discipline

Happy New Year! According to research, 40 percent of Americans typically make New Year’s resolutions. This year with my family, we’ve each chosen a word that we want to define 2015. For me, that word is “focus.” I want to invest more in less – to go deeper, rather than wider. I do think that making resolutions is a great practice – at any time of the year – if there are things you want to do better or do differently. If you want to make a change in your life, it takes resolve and it takes discipline. Self-discipline does not come easy to everyone. Instead, it is a skill that can and should be taught and encouraged from an early age. READ MORE

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Rome is Burning

According to legend, the emperor Nero played his fiddle as the city of Rome burned. Nero’s infamous behavior made his name synonymous with uncaring apathy. We need look no further than the news to recognize that we are watching as Rome burns. Violence in our schools is a sobering reminder that our children’s safety is at risk even in places that are supposed to be safe. And yet, hearing the news of another school shooting is becoming far too commonplace.
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Valuing Compassion Above Belonging

Recently, I led a Youth Frontiers Respect Retreat® with more than 200 ninth-graders. Our goal was to get the each student to see what it would be like if everyone in their class respected each other. At the end of the retreat, we invited students to share how the day impacted them. One student, who didn’t seem like part of the “in” crowd, got up to speak. He said to his classmates, “People ignore me at school, and it’s a lonely place for me. Today was the first day in a long time that I felt respected. Thank you.”READ MORE

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Share this with all the schools, please

A friend of mine recently sent me the link to a blog post that resonated with me. It was written by Glennon Melton, bestselling author and founder of the blog, Momastery. Her blog focuses on her inpirational, and often hysterical, journey as a woman, mom and wife. In a recent post about the start of a new school year, Glennon shares a great story about a teacher who understands the importance of connection. It’s a message that is at the core of what we do at Youth Frontiers – inspiring connection and building community. Enjoy her post, reprinted here with her permission:READ MORE

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Kids Will Stand Up

The end of our Respect Retreat® is a powerful time for students. Kids start to realize the impact of bullying – not only on the bullied, but also on the rest of the school and even on the bullies themselves. It’s not uncommon for chronic bullies to get up and apologize to the people they’ve picked on and also to their classmates and teachers. They also often promise that they are going to be better people going forward.READ MORE

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The Dawn of the Walkman

By Joe Cavanaugh, Founder & CEO

The year was 1979. I was working as a youth minister at Our Lady of Grace Church in Edina, Minn. My job was to help lead 200 high school students on a week-long ski trip to Colorado. For the many adult volunteers who led these trips for years, the toughest part of the trip was always the 30-hour bus ride. By hour 14, we were close to going crazy. Boom box wars battled Led Zeppelin against ABBA. Hormones raged as teenage boys and girls tried to “snuggle” in their seats while we patrolled the aisles and tried our best to keep them apart. No one ever slept.READ MORE

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A Complete Waste of Time

One recent and particularly busy day, I came home late from work. I jumped out of my car – in my sport coat and dress pants – and rushed up the driveway. My daughter, Tess, was waiting in the front yard. When she saw me, she called out, “Dad, come here and lie on the grass with me.” I haven’t done that in years. I looked at my ironed pants, put down my briefcase and walked over to lie down the grass with Tess.READ MORE

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