"Hey, Mrs. Johnston!" Building Relationships with the Young People Around You

A few weeks ago I attended the IMCAT conference in Corpus Christi.  One of the speakers challenged all of the attendees with these three tasks:

  1. Every day for the next 30 days make it your intention to look a young person in the eye and acknowledge them with words.
  2. Over the next 30 days learn the names of three young people who live in your neighborhood and call them by name when you see them.
  3. Intentionally make it a point to model good behavior in front of a young person.
At the end of 30 days you are to tell another adult how doing this for 30 days changed you.

I'll be honest.  I have not done this regularly and faithfully for 30 days.  However, last Friday I was reminded why I need to make this a priority.  As I was walking down the hall, a student called out to me, "Hey, Mrs. Johnston!" I don't know the student's name (I responded, "Hey honey!").  I'm not even sure if he's in 5th or 6th grade.  But him knowing my name and calling out to me in the middle of the hall during a busy passing period felt good and made my day.  It reminded me that what I am doing is important in the lives of young people.  It reminded me to keep building relationships with the young people in my life.

So I am recommitting to the challenge and I am going to pass on that challenge to you.  Re-read the 3 tasks above and do them faithfully for 30 days.  Then tell someone else how it changed you.  Let's change the world one young person at a time!