Meeting the Masses
What’s the best way to meet 250 students in one day?
Baseball, basketball, capture the flag, yoga and dodgeball…
I have been given the opportunity to help and participate in gym classes at H.D. Stafford Middle School. Every Friday, I spend my day in the gym at Stafford. As class after class comes through, I am introduced to all of the students and we get to have a shared experience. This shared experience allows for conversation starters, as well as, natural conversation breaks. It gives me the chance to actually be teammates working towards a common goal with the youth I am interacting with. These interactions create familiarity and, ultimately, trust. The perfect way to start off relationships.
At first, the youth were unsure of why I just got to do the activities with them. Now some of them look forward to seeing me in their class; the teachers, surprisingly, even more so. I have discovered recently that my role at Stafford reaches beyond the students and to the teachers. In these classes, there can be 80 students between 4 teachers. So if a youth is having a rough day, they don’t actually have the capacity to give them one on one attention. But I can do that. As much as I have been participating in the sports with them, I have had opportunities to sit on the sides with the youth that gets picked on in gym, or the one that has an injury. All of the relationships I have already built also get deepened in the gym classes. And since the classes rotate every Friday, I have ended up meeting 500 students. Stafford only has 600 students. It is incredible to think that I can be connecting with 500 youth over two days alone!
I look forward to the fruit which will be produced because of so many interactions. I am hoping next year the same opportunity will be granted to me. Building relationships with youth between the ages of 11-14 gives me a step into their lives at a very critical period. The trust that’s built now through playing games will allow for deeper more impactful conversations in their later teen years. I want to thank you for all the support you have all given me, whether through prayer or financially. You are making a difference in the lives of Langley youth!
I am pleased to announce that I have completed my credentialing process. During the last year and a half, I have been working on my credentialing to become clergy. Just when I thought university was over I had more school work. I had assignments throughout that time, as well as, a couple of training trips. It even allowed me to do a site visit to Sylvan Lake Alberta Youth Unlimited. To finish off the process, I was interview by faculty in Youth Unlimited. After four hours, they decided I was fit to be credentialed. Though I was unsure if I was ready to continue another stretch of schooling, I have learned and grown a lot through the process. Now, I am extremely thankful I have successfully competed it!
- Rachel Tapp