Time for Trust

I absolutely love “back-to-school” season. From freshmen touring campus for the first time to senior sunrises on football fields across the country, there’s just something special about a new school year. Simply put, the possibilities are endless.

While we are only midway through August, I’ve been on the road during the last four weeks training new student leadership groups for the new year. While we’ve had fun engaging in activities and looking at school culture, one goal has remained constant: we need to gain more trust with our students.

Let’s think about it–

What if I told you that your students cared less about the actions of your activities, and cared more about your intentions behind the activity?

What if the amount of trust you gained in your students was more powerful and persuasive than any sign, banner, or marketing campaign your students could create?

Most importantly, what if it were possible to generate trust from your entire campus in a matter of 10 minutes?

Would you believe me?

For those of you who are in the midst of a back-to-school season, try this:

Ask your student leaders to give once per day to others on their campus. It could be something as simple as a high-five or something as extravagant as a full “marking” campaign. The results on your campus will quickly surprise you.

The sooner we gain trust, the sooner we can create a school culture we’re proud of.

AWESOME RESOURCE!– Speaking of giving, my friends over at USB Memory Direct hooked me up with some AMAZING USB drives to store my content on. They are personalized with my branding and designed to my exact specs. A bunch of my ENGAGE schools will be receiving them this fall. If you would like to give these out to your leaders and start your year on a high-note, I know that they would be happy to help! Please check them out here .

Snapple Hates Me

Welcome to week 3! Like the last two, watching the video below is critical for us to make educational magic happen:

While some of my bottle top nuggets are definitely personal opinion (here’s lookin’ at you, Miss Swift), the simple point remains—they are funny because they’re true.

Keeping with the same rhythm, though, here are some additional facts that are completely true:

- 20% of high school students will stay home from campus at least once per year  because of how they are treated by others.
- 10% of guys will die before the age of 50 because of decisions they make before turning 20.
- 90% of high school girls will be told by the time they graduate that either physically, emotionally, or intellectually, they aren’t good enough.
- Only 1/3 of high school students will make it to college.
- Of that 1/3, over 60% will drop out.

The point of this entry is simple:

Whether we’re talking about something funny or talking about something serious, the ONLY way you’re going to turn fact into fiction is when you decide that you have had enough.

The only way your friends stay in school is if you have a deliberate effort to keep them there.

The only way that people stop disrespecting others is if you go to those people and teach them to love others.

Finally, the only way that we create campuses where people actually respect one another is if everyone makes a personal commitment to do so.

What statistics can you identify that hold completely true for the students on your campus? More importantly, how can we work to combat them?

By working to combat negative statistics and increase positive ones, we can ensure that everyone is having a high school experience they can truly be proud of.

Keep trying to be better. I know I will =)

I Smuggle Circus People

Week two is here! As before, check out the link below to see this week’s YouTube vlog.

So I’ll admit it—that was definitely an embarrassing video to make. Being stuck on a boat and having the world see your singing “skills”? Let’s call it a double whammy.

Regardless of who we are, I tend to think that embarrassing situations happen to everyone. Sometimes we feel comfortable enough to throw them online (especially if they come with Gotye background singing), while most of the time we hide them away for nobody to see.

While some situations are funny in nature, though, one fact will always remain—we all “mess up” on a regular basis.

At school: We forget to do everything.
At home: We don’t do the “right” thing.
With friends: We say the wrong things.

And what is our natural reaction to most every mistake we make? Simple– we make A LOT of excuses.

Whether it’s blaming someone else, placing the responsibility on a situation outside of our control, or even telling on our pets, excuses seem to be an easy way out of an otherwise compromising and embarrassing situation.

And what’s the very best part? They are EASY.

Think about it—excuses rarely hurt others, take little effort to come up with, and are always at our disposal.

But what would life look like if we decided to stop? Instead of constantly making excuses for our actions, what if we decided to take a tad bit of responsibility for them? Something tells me our pattern would start looking like this:

At school: We get what we deserve and deserve what we get.
At home: We do what we can, and choose to get better when we can’t.
With friends: We say what we truly believe, NOT what seems funny at the time.

My challenge to you this week is simple: resist the temptation.

Yes, it’s hard to take responsibility and admit when we’ve made a mistake. But if we decide to take the small steps in being “OK” with our actions, we can slowly begin to create a version of ourselves that we’re never ashamed of.

Until next week, friends.