Thursday, November 24, 2011

Decreasing Divorce One High School Relationship at a Time

This blog is from eleven years of teaching special education, agriculture education and being an FFA advisor.  This information is comprised from all of the “free” dating information given to students on bus trips, van trips, hotel stays and long waits for contests.  It seems when teaching high school there is always dating drama.  I am sharing this information for both help to those dating and for comic relief for those who have survived dating. 

Things I learned about relationships from teaching high school.

·  Attractive – Some think that the prospect must only be attractive to them, while others think they must be attractive to a panel of their closest friends.  I’ll never forget taking one of my former students on her first trip, which happened to be to National Convention.  Leah walked into the Buckeye Bash and immediately came running up to me, saying “Oh my gosh I just saw the cutest boy ever”.  This same comment was made on every trip we went on after that.  This included state convention, MFE, camp and then the same trips for three more years after that.
My Advice - This prospect only needs to be attractive to you and in this list and in all successful relationships this will likely become the least important.
·         Imposters – When looking for a prospect you should weed out all people that are imposters.  I believe it was the same Buckeye Bash that I mentioned above, that the dance had started and I was catching up with some of the other Ag teachers that I attended college with and here comes Amber with a boy she had just met.  She introduced him to me and I was wondering why.  I mean this dance would be over in less than an hour and we would be out of Indianapolis tomorrow.  She comes back a little later, and says “don’t you think he’s hot”. “ He’s a cowboy”.  I quickly answered, “well Amber, it is the first time I’ve met a cowboy in Converse tennis shoes and a cowboy hat.”  She had to go check for herself.
·         Personality – Personality is really everything in a good relationship.  It is nice to find someone who can mix and mingle with the people you like to hang with.  The prospect really should be the person you like to be around more than anyone else.  When students use to say to me “he just doesn’t like any of my friends”.  I say “eeerrrrrrr, next and you should move on and keep interviewing”. 
·         Morals and Values – Having a clear understanding of what you believe is right and wrong is essential before interviewing prospects.  If you believe that it acceptable to lie, cheat and steal in certain situations, you really should interview people to date that have the same ideas in the same situations.
·         Skills – Probably one of the most important things to assess in a prospect and the most overlooked. We have become a society of unskilled labor.  I can’t imagine having to pay someone to install a ceiling fan.  I’ve been lucky that Jake has been able to do almost anything.  He once fixed an air conditioner in a house we lived in because the heating and cooling man took too long to make the house call.  When I taught Agriculture Business I had a check book exercise.  Each student each nine weeks had to keep track and pay monthly bills along with making deposits based off the real job they held for the class.  Cameron one day says “I don’t know why we have to do this every nine weeks, when we proved we could do it right the first time”.  I thought about that and he was right.  I then exempted them from the assignment after they did it correctly.  However there still were a few students after four tries that were unable to correctly fill out and balance their checkbooks correctly.  I told them they should probably considering paying cash for things until they had a spouse that could help them balance their checkbook correctly.
·         Religion – Have these conversations. God - he’s kind of a big deal. Do you believe or not? Is church important or not?  Do you pray or not? Are you baptized or not? Do you read the Bible or not?
·         A panel of people you care about – Since your frontal lobe is not fully developed until you are 25 and that is the part of your brain that helps you make decisions, you need a panel. If you find a prospect you think is special and is everything you ever dreamed, you should ask a few people that are important and who have developed you to this point for their opinion.  For example a parent, sibling, teacher, pastor or friend.   
·         Sometimes it’s just over – I once was on an FFA trip driving a van through Indiana for at least 3 days. Katie was dating a boy that did not fit into the criteria mentioned above and the best part she knew it.  My advice for her was move on, and keep interviewing.  She was mentioning how sad break ups are.  I said “you are right, they are and you should go home break up with him, eat ice cream and watch sad movies”.  Then the next day resume the search for another prospect. I believe she has found a new prospect and is very happy.

If you feel I have left something out, please feel free to leave your comments to be added to the list of decreasing divorce, one high school relationship at a time.   

No comments:

Post a Comment