Saturday, March 31, 2007

Rethinking Intervention

How was Odysseus freed from his captivity on Calypso’s island? Keep in mind, Odysseus had fallen into despair, resigning to the fact that he would never again see his cherished homeland of Ithaca. The mighty hero was in a helpless situation. Intervention had to come from outside the island, from Zeus himself. Why did the gods intervene in this situation? Because they heard the cries of Odysseus and decided to once again step into his story. Do you know adolescents who are involved in destructive relationships?

Be Aware

Just as the gods noticed the tears of Odysseus, we as adult leaders need to be aware of changes in our students’ behavior. Is a normally happy and upbeat girl now depressed and teary-eyed? Is a boy who is normally talkative suddenly quiet? Is an easygoing student becoming touchy and irritable? Granted, there could be many reasons for such a change, but pay attention to who it is they are spending time with.

If you are a teacher or school counselor, spend time in the hallways or the cafeteria. You would be amazed at what you can learn from time spent daily in the hallways between classes or in the cafeteria during lunch. If you are a coach, pay attention to what is discussed in the locker room or on the field. There you will find adolescents at their most unvarnished. Try to notice who students sit with during unstructured time. This may sound sneaky, but listen in on their conversations. Remember that this is a war for the hearts of the young people in our care! This will reveal a great deal about what is happening in their lives and give you clues as to how you can intervene in destructive relationships.

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