Advice for Educators

Put a Little Guilt Back in the Game

Youth Frontiers challenges young people on our retreats to reflect on their attitudes and behaviors toward themselves and others. We ask them if their behaviors live up to the values they hold in their hearts. We will say to students, “If you are making fun of someone and you don’t feel guilty about it, there is something wrong.” You should feel guilty. A sense of healthy guilt serves a purpose. It acts as a moral compass to guide one’s behavior.READ MORE

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Focus on the 97 Right

One of my favorite teachers in high school was Mr. John O’Dougherty. I vividly remember the day in class when Mr. O’Dougherty handed back our midterms. He had a formal way of announcing and celebrating his students’ success. On this particular day, he acknowledged everyone’s hard work, but took a moment to highlight my results. READ MORE

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Empower the Bystanders

Perhaps one of the worst nights in Minnesota high school history happened at a St. Louis Park High School (SLP) hockey game on a cold February night many years ago. St. Louis Park is a community that has a large Jewish community (for Minnesota). Some of the fans from the other team thought it would be “funny” to throw bagels (a traditionally Jewish food) at the SLP hockey players. What was so tragic about that night was not that some rowdy teens were disrespectfully throwing bagels at the SLP hockey players, it was that the entire crowd just sat and watched. No one stood up and told them to stop. READ MORE

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10-Second Connection

Every year, I have the chance to get out of the office and lead a handful of Youth Frontiers retreats. Whenever I’m on retreat, teachers and administrators comment on how great it is that I get the kids to talk to me. The reality is that these kids often are not really talking to me – it’s more of a short exchange that I call the “10-second connection.”READ MORE

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What Defines a School

I once met a school bus driver named Donna who hated driving the school bus. She was new to the job and had only accepted it out of financial necessity. Because she was new, Donna was given one of the worst routes in the system. When she first started, the kids ignored her efforts to keep them in their seats. They fought with each other. They showed little respect to her. READ MORE

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