Don’t Settle

There are two sets of kids at school and everyone seems to know their names. The first set is the really smart kids who excel at all that they do. They are bright, talented, and natural born leaders. The second set of kids are the ones who are the disruptors. They have plenty of talent and potential, but they waste it in favor of being rebellious.

I have had this conversation with kids almost on a daily basis. We get to choose what path we take every day. If we make good decisions, we get good rewards. Great decisions reap great rewards. Likewise, poor decisions have consequences, and terrible decisions will reap consequences that kids just don’t want to consider.

This week I had a heart to heart conversation with a middle school girl about her behavior. It was so disrespectful. The funny thing is, I did not say a word to her or anyone else about it. Another teacher observed her behavior and blew the whistle on her with her homeroom teacher. The next thing I know, this girl is coming down the hall towards me and is humbly apologizing for her bad behavior.

I told her I forgave her and I appreciated her apology. I also told her that I saw her with incredible potential. She is bright, very talented in many ways, and she is a leader. The problem is that she is leading others in the wrong direction. She nodded at what I said and we went our separate ways.

The next day her Mom (who happens to be a teacher at our school) came up to me and let me know that her daughter had been talked to about the disrespect she gave me and it would not happen again. If it did, she wanted me to come to her and let her know about it. I told her that I appreciated her support, and I repeated to her what I told her daughter…because I meant it. Her daughter is incredibly talented, but she is at a critical point in her life. She will either go on to be outstanding, or she will resign herself to just standing out. Hopefully, with her parent’s support and the grace of God she will make the right choices. As with all of us, time will tell.


Dan Skognes

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