Thursday, March 3, 2011

Day 76- Teen Living Programs and The Promise of Smileys

In honor of a teen who made my day last year, I'd like to donate to a place today that shares my mission to change the lives of teens in the most positive way possible.  Whatever I see at school, good or bad, can often be traced directly back to what's going on at home.  What if there is no home?

http://www.teenliving.org/3.0/home.html

The Teen Living Programs organization does wonderful work that I believe in.  Check it out.

"We believe all youth are entitled to a home where they know they are loved, independence is encouraged, competence is expected, and compassion is exemplified. Thousands of youth never experience this kind of home, and many become homeless. Every year 9,000 youth in greater Chicago experience homelessness, and every night there are 2,000 youth who have no place to call home. Teen Living Programs, established more than 30 years ago, exists for these youth.

We deliver comprehensive, long-term solutions to youth without homes who strive for self-sufficiency and community connection. Teen Living Programs offers housing, job training, educational support, mental health counseling, holistic health care, and life skills training within a community of professional and passionate support. TLP’s comprehensive, long-term approach to youth homelessness reduces the number of youth who might otherwise become homeless adults. TLP also limits youth homelessness from taking root through its outreach and prevention programs in neighborhoods and schools."

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While a lot of kids like to give off the impression that they couldn't care less whether or not I like them (which I can see right through with a few), others try their best to flatter their way into my good graces.  This amuses me because what some of them don't seem to realize is how very much I like them anyway.

My fourth hour tried to convince me today that they really should be able to suck up in order to get better grades.  I shot that one down quickly.  However, I threw them a little bone.  Today's warm-up asked for three examples of something.  I told them that if they wrote more, I just might throw in an extra smiley face when I was grading the warm-ups.  The funny thing is...

...it worked!

They all tried so hard, and I could literally hear pencils writing in a flurry all over the room.  Just a spoonful of smileys help get the warm-up writings down in the most delightful way.  I win.  They win. 

Thank you, the promise of smileys, you made my day.

2 comments:

Cait said...

great post :) glad i came across your blog! xo have a fabulous friday dear! xo

Jessi said...

Thank you :)! I appreciate your kind words. Do you work with kids/teens too?

I'll have to hop on over to your blog to find out... :)