What I Miss Most About School in the Age of the Pandemic
I had no idea when I left a high school March 13th (for what was supposed to be a two-week closure), that it would be my last opportunity to speak to students in person for the rest of the school year.
If you’ve been reading my posts for any length of time, you know how much I enjoy speaking to students.
So, the past two months have been rather difficult.
I miss joking around with them before, during and after class, and allowing them to see me as a real person and not just another adult who is trying to control their life.
I miss seeing the light bulb moments the students experience when they hear truth for the first time.
I even miss having them cry in my arms after class, grateful for a message that saved them from making even more poor choices.
Once I realized schools would not reopen this school year and that even my weekend speaking engagements would be canceled for the foreseeable future, I got busy trying to figure out how to continue reaching teens virtually.
As a result, I’m just getting around to reading the letters from students I had received prior to March 13th.
What the Letters Revealed
1. Not being able to speak to students in person was more difficult than I imagined.
Reading the following letter, while very humbling and encouraging in its intent, left me a little saddened instead.
“Words can’t explain how much you coming here talking and informing us about info we didn’t know changed me. What really got me when you were talking was when you said, ‘You’re worth waiting for.’ People have told me that before, but it didn’t seem like they meant it. You looked me in my eye, whether you noticed you did it or not, but you did. For the first time, I believed it…I think everyone in the world should hear you speak. You changed my life and I want you to make an impact on [others] that might change theirs too.”
I couldn’t help but wonder about all the students who missed out on the chance to hear the same message this young lady did that could have changed their lives as well, if for no other reason than they were reminded that they DO have value and they ARE worth waiting for…A message we both know isn’t popular in today’s society.
And that’s what saddens me.
2. God’s timing is everything!
Reading this letter made me appreciate God’s timing…
“The first day you talked to us, I was planning to go home that same day and invite my ex-boyfriend over just to have sex. I knew he had slept with many other girls since we dated, some without a condom. But I was only doing it because I was trying to get over the boy I had just broke up with. I thought if I had sex with my ex, it would be easier to get over the other boy. After hearing you talk, it completely changed my mind. I decided not to have my ex come over for sex. You taught me not to self-medicate pain with sex, and I’m worth so much more than that. Thank you, Ms. Jackie!”
Clearly God knows who needs to hear this message and this young lady’s letter has challenged me to pray that God will send an intervention for girls like her, to receive it some other way.
What About Next School Year?
If your daughter’s school system is anything like the ones I partner with locally, then the answer is still out on what’s going to happen next year.
The CDC’s recommended guidelines for schools to reopen in the Fall include eliminating assemblies and outside groups coming in all together.
Which could very well mean that teaching teens healthy relationship skills in the classroom as I’ve done for the past 17+ years, will end.
And I would be lying if I said that wasn’t concerning.
But it’s also challenged me to pray that God will continue to show me innovative ways to deliver the life-affirming message He’s given me (like my 7 Secrets REVEALED Masterclass), to share with teen girls like your daughter.
Click on the video for a recap from the first session.
If the positive feedback I received from the girls (and their moms), who participated in this session of the 7 Secrets REVEALED Masterclass is any indication, that message will continue to empower teens to dream bigger dreams, make better decisions and realize brighter destinies.
“It has really been helpful and I will definitely be thinking about your advice in the future! I was unsure of my decision to abstain from sex due to peer pressure, but after listening to you…I am certain. After listening to you, I know I need to do what is best for me and my future and not care what others think. Thank you sooo, sooo, sooo, sooo much! I will never forget this amazing experience you gave me and will most definitely not forget you. 💓” ~ Masterclass Student
“They are in love with what they are learning. They’ll be ready when school opens back up & before!” ~Mom
“Thank you! My daughter loved the Masterclass! So much valuable information that she can apply to her everyday life. She learned so much. She said, ‘I want to meet Ms. Jackie when I go to Atlanta this summer.’” ~Mom
“Thank you for this unforgettable experience, I am so grateful because this is exactly what I needed.” ~Masterclass Student
Don’t forget to watch the recap video and stay tuned for more information about the Summer Session.
If you’re interested in being notified directly when registration opens, email firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll make sure to notify you.
P.S. COVID-19 may have changed education as we know it forever, but one thing that remains the same is this: teens need to know how to make healthy choices when it comes to love, sex and relationships. So, if your daughter’s school doesn’t provide healthy relationship skills education next year, she’s got to get it somewhere. And I’m here to help! Go here to receive information about the Summer Session.
P.P.S. As always, we appreciate you sharing this post with family and friends on social media who have teen daughters. Stay safe and enjoy the summer break!