for the readers out there that are just beginning to practice youth work of some sort or might be interested in pursuing this kind of work as a career…this one’s for you!:)

let’s get one thing straight, this kind of work isn’t rocket science–but it’s not exactly common sense either…it is a carpentry or auto repair or hvac or being a jedi knight..and like any trade, there is an art and a science to what we’re doing here…there are skills and tactics–tradecraft–that can take you from apprentice to journeyman to–well, a tradesman in search of mastery

it can take you from padowan to jedi master

anyways…this entry highlights “the next steps” regarding skills/tactics following a disciplinary action…like the one i mentioned in the last post, where i sent a kid to the CLAS program for pickin’ on another student…

q: what do you do when that kid you sent out comes back?

one: follow-up with the dismissed student and ask them some questions…do you know why i sent you out? ask them what they plan to do from here on out; …how could you do things differently next time?

two: welcome them back and put what ‘went down’ in the past, this can be tough… especially, when the kid has demonstrated a knack for ‘getting under your skin’ and ‘pushing your buttons’…but, this is what it means to be a professional–a skilled laborer in this field…in the past, i’ve told kids glad you’re back, today is a new day, the past is the past, we’re movin’ on, etc…

this is known as processing

and it is a way to get them thinking about what they did and why they should do it differently next time…it is also a healthy/positive way to assimilate them back into the group, to “mend fences”, to let them know yeah, i sent you out–i’ll hold you accountable…but i’m also willing to give you another chance…it’s a way to restore the relationship…

90% of the time, it takes between 5-10 minutes to “process” with a kid…

may the force be with you…

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