Some of my students
The way I relate to my students is imperative for the growth of our relationship and their openness to learning about the faith. I believe I relate well to my students; I write a daily blog and use social media, and I tweet and post on Face Book. I also have four children, three of whom are teenagers. My middle child is their age, so I have great insight to what my students are experiencing. More than anything what helps me to relate to them is remembering my own teenage years. I remember questioning my faith because of different situations. I remember the drama with boyfriends, and I can still feel the pain of betrayal from friends. One day I was teaching a class about discernment. The students said, “We don’t discern anything. Our parents tell us what to do. We don’t make choices.” I believe this is a statement of powerlessness. I challenged it. I said, “What about when you receive a text from that boy you like or don’t like? Do you think to yourself, ‘Should I text back, delete it, or ignore it?’ When you are thinking about the different consequences to your actions you are discerning what the best course of action to take is.” My student looked at me and said, “Ms. HD, you are a teenager trapped in an adult body. You know how we think!” That confirmed that not only do I believe I relate to them, they also believe it. These experiences are what lead to strengthening my relationships with my students. If I could not relate to my students my class would just be a class and not a journey towards their relationship with God.