"Legend tells of a legendary warrior whose Kung-Fu skills were the stuff of legends". What a way to introduce yourself, the infamous words of Po the Kung-Fu Panda.
I love joy and laughter; it is good for me. The teenagers I work with always provide plenty of opportunities to Laugh. Telling a pupil (GenZ) that their work is "great" used to get a "Thank you, Sir." Now they respond with a sassy smile of self-confidence: "I know- obvs". I love this attitude. It's just fun.
Bringing your own encouragement is essential. Occasionally, pupils remind me to be kind to myself, a sermon I preach but rarely practice. Talking kindly to myself helps me talk kindly to others. Many will berate me; I must not be one of them. I also talk to myself in the third person, "Come on, Jimmy."
The me-generation/zoomers/iGen/GenZ are so inspiring - self-confident, self/google-knowledgeable, and they always have the backing of themselves.
2024 signifies that I have been working with teenagers for 30 years; I started at 19. It will be my life's work. I have few regrets and loads of memories. My path has crossed with many others, forging meaningful moments and eliciting a profound tapestry of friendship and love. Thank you.