This week I read a blog post to do with building "social credit". I wish I remembered which blog roll it was on so I could share it but I am afraid I do not. I am assuming it is morethandodgeball because I spend a lot of time there, both writing and learning.
Anyways, the idea of social credit is that students listen and understand what you talk about when you build up a reputation with them. The only way to build that reputation is through spending time with them in a meaningful and social way.
I believe this dynamic works for youth workers, high school teachers and even parents. By putting in time with students in a neutral setting where you can be yourselves together, you build a positive relationship. And well, you earn a credit.
I am not saying the only reason we spend time with students is to earn credit, but it is a byproduct of doing so.
Tonight I brought a group of girls to play a game at a local coffee shop (JJ bean), in order to meet a new potential student. It was a lot of fun and was a good introduction for the new student. Afterwards I also headed out to a soccer game 3 students were playing in. It was an awesome experience because I got to cheer on the girls, and socialize with their parents at the same time.
I was reminded while driving home; by a gentle nudge at my spirit; that it was the right thing to do and I need to keep on doing it.
I hope that if you are a youth worker, teacher or parent reading this that you are encouraged to spend some time with a student or your kid, just being together. It will make you feel great, and have a positive impact on that persons life.