Tuesday, April 28, 2015
We have learned through the years that setting the standards (I'm not fond of the word rules) firmly and the consequences that go along with them are very important to the stability of our program at The Dream Campaign.
The standards are very simple. Treat each other with respect, clean up after yourself, respect authority, watch your language and be kind. If a student can not follow this repeatedly on any given day, we'll send them on their way with the words, "try again tomorrow." Some make think it's harsh and others may say, "They're just kids", but you know what? They always come back. Most of the kids start to catch themselves and try to rectify the behavior before the words need to be spoken. They want to succeed in this standard set for them. They will try to push us to see what they can get away with, but when we demand respect and treat them with respect, it becomes a learning experience in which everyone benefits. I often think that the hard case kids are written off as troublemakers and tagged as the problem children sent off to behavioral schools and a life time of failing grades and detention because no one tells them to try again tomorrow. The grace ends with the the assignment of a label that they will often live up to if hope of no other option seems available.
As surely as the sun sets, it will rise with a new day and the opportunity to start fresh in the morning.
Don't we all need that same fresh grace to try again tomorrow? The words we choose to use, the self condemnation we may speak in our head, the lack of forgiveness or the absence of hope for a better tomorrow can leave us stuck in a pit of despair. What does the dawn of a new day mean for you? There is joy in the morning and it's yours for the taking. So if you've had a bad day.....be at peace...you can always try again tomorrow.