John Maxwell – a leadership expert – wrote “How can you lead people when you don’t like or respect them?” (Winning With People p. 21) As you know, Teach One Reach One strongly believes every volunteer who works with children or teens is a leader. So my question for you is “Do you actually like the kids or teens you teach?”
Your students don’t all wear the same shoes. They were created by God to be individuals. Their environments and experiences also make them different. Even identical twins are not exactly alike. Some of those differences will naturally create an emotional distance between you and some of your students.
If you have a student who misbehaves or is disrespectful or even reminds you of someone (possibly yourself) you don’t like, you may bristle every time you see him or her.
Yet to really effectively point your students to God, you absolutely must find a way to like each one of them. For some, that will be easy. For others, you may always struggle with liking them. Yet, try you absolutely must. As John Maxwell might say – they can tell if you don’t like them and they won’t want to hear what you have to say – even if you are quoting God.
If you find yourself struggling to like a student, you might want to try some of these tips to help.