Sunday, October 12, 2014


After listening to a very convincing speaker demonstrate how if you polled the teachers in a typical school and asked them to name the students they felt a strong connection or rapport with, 80% of the teachers routinely named the same 20% of the kids. And vice-versa. Meaning, if I had a good relationship with “John” and “Mary,” odds were, most other teachers did too; the problem being, that left too many students feeling disconnected from the staff.

Looking to fix that, I decided to make it a point to give a little more attention to the students I did not know all that well.  Nothing too elaborate or intrusive, mind you -  I wasn’t about to start eating lunch with them! But I figured asking a couple questions here and there, maybe sharing some personal experiences, would help us bond a little more.

My first opportunity came when I happened across two girls working on a mural in the hallway. I only “knew” them from homeroom, and did not have them in class, so I thought they would be a great place to start. They were happily chatting about whatever it is 6th grade girls talk about, when I heard one mention something about Girl Scouts.

“Girl Scouts?” I interrupted. “My step-daughter just had her…flying away? Crossing over? Building a bridge ceremony? You know, when a Daisy becomes a Girl Scout?”

“Daisies become Brownies,” the first girl corrected.

“And Brownies become Girl Scouts by flying up,” the other added.

“Got it,” I said, already a little flustered. “She’s in Fourth Grade now, so I guess that would that make her a…”

“Junior,” they both said. “We’re Cadettes.  And the high school girls are Seniors.”

“Really?” I asked, truly confused. You see, I honestly thought my daughter was a full-fledged Girl Scout, and did not even know kids stayed in past elementary school.  So, seeing an opportunity to learn something new, and to build some rapport, I pressed on.

 “So, what do Girl Scou…sorry, I mean, Cadettes, do at this level?" I asked.  "I know my daughter is excited about going camping for the first time. But what do they teach you girls about?”

“Mostly about how to protect ourselves,” the first girl answered.

“Oh, that’s cool,” I said. “So, like karate and self-defense? That sort of stuff?”

“No,” she replied. “They teach us how 'protect' ourselves. You know, from getting pregnant?”

I’m not sure who walked away more embarrassed that day, but thus ended my attempts at reaching out to the 80%.


  1. For females, potection comes in many different forms. LOL

  2. That sounds like a good skill to have. :)