If you give a teenager a cookie, he will gobble it up in one swallow, and then forget about the cookie before it hits his stomach. See, that’s how teenagers are. Quickly, they consume. Quickly, they forget.
However, if you gather teenagers, point them to a cause, and encourage them to make some cookies, those teens may walk away with more than just some extra sugar floating around their bodies.
Follow this easy recipe to encourage teens to think of others:
Step 1: Find some teens. Open your eyes. Even if you don’t teach teens, they line your life. You know them. Often they avoid eye contact and carry hefty attitudes, but look beyond that and see them.
Step 2: Find a place that does something for others. We found the Rathbun Center, a place where family members of sick loved ones stay. Get a tour. Learn about the struggles of those who find themselves at such a place. Help teens personalize the struggles.
Step 3: Cut fruit.
Step 4: Arrange pre-bake cookies on a sheet.
Step 5: Talk to teens while the cookies bake. They will want to discuss things that may not interest you. Get over it, and then this is very important, fake interest.
Step 6: Decorate cookies.
Step 7: Praise teens for helping others in a tangible way, and remind them of the difference small acts make.
Question for you: How are you teaching your students to see the needs of others?
-Amy L. Sullivan, Special Education Teacher