When Students Disappoint

Perhaps you’ve shared this feeling; disappointment. Not with your ministry. Not with your teaching. Not with your staff. But with your students. Something has happened and a student disappoints you.

The season ended on a high. Our students were showing growth. They were excited about the ministry. Student Leaders recruiting and training started in May, just before school let out. We took some of those “excited” students, the ones beginning to exhibit those leader qualities we all look for, asked them to pray about leadership. We walked them through the earlier introduction and training for leadership. Then, summer came.

Like many ministries, we shut down our programming for the summer. Our focus shifts as students go off to camps, vacations, summer jobs, and summer school. In just 2 and a half months, our hopes for strong student leaders come crashing down and disappointment moves in.

It’s all most heart breaking to hear of students who, through a series of poor choices, demonstrate a lack of any true growth. I find myself disappointed by the students. But is my disappointment appropriate? I am a looking to blame a student for something that I lacked doing? Did I see something that was never there? Could I have followed up and stayed connected better?

How should we respond to students, for which we have high hopes, when they disappoint us through poor life style choices and inappropriate behavior?

As our 2010-2011 season prepares to kick off, the task of confronting these students looms. I know I can’t make their choices for them. But I can influence their decision process. Unfortunately their behavior has disqualified them from any leadership. And I have lost the trust I had for them.

What do you do when your students disappoint you? I’d love hear from your experiences, so please share in the comment box below!

– jay

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