We hold unbelievable power as KidMin leaders. We can build or tear down. How will we respond when challenged? We have to understand the "Power of a Teacher". I have a newspaper clipping that I have carried from time to time:
I’ve come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my personal approach that creates the climate. It’s my mood that makes the weather. As the teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. It can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether crisis will be escalated or de-escalate it and a child humiliated or lifted up.
Don't Kill the Climate
When I return evil for evil to a mouthy student, I have just showcased to every other kid in my group at the same thing could happen to them. "This teacher could publicly humiliate me. Therefore, I will no longer take the risk of offering any answers." Kids will no longer feel safe to offer up a response to your questions, fearing that they themselves might be slammed by you. Your initial reaction is going to be an indication of how the rest of the situation is going to play out. Crushing the group dynamic is a poor trade-off to somehow put a kid in his place.
Our Very Own WWJD Moment!
Jesus gave us the example to follow. When reviled, he did not revile in return. When he suffered, he did not threaten. What Jesus did under the painful remarks, ridicule and even torture? He kept entrusting himself to Him who judges righteously. Be like Jesus. Don’t lash back and crush a kid. Don’t return evil for evil, but give a blessing instead. You’ll be glad you did.