Have you ever talked to a whole room of middle school youth and really just wondered not only if they are listening to what you are saying, but if there is any brain activity what so ever? This week at Edge we had one of those nights. My tip to all is to be very aware of what a day off of school can do to the pre-teen brain and their ability to pay attention.
We had our Edge Night on Veterans Day, which most of the youth had off of school. We were thinking that they had the whole day off so they will come rested and ready to learn, right?
They had the whole day off so I am not even sure if their brains were even turned on that day. First of all most of them did not show up, second of all the ones who were there were hardly participating at all.
The Edge Night itself ran flawlessly with a very empowering proclaim about the different between needs and wants in our lives. It even featured a PowerPoint of different pictures to help keep the youth engaged; it was spot on. When we got to the time for small groups I was really excited because it had been such a great talk I was sure they would have lots to say.
So after asking the question, “What do you remember most from the talk?” I was bombarded with a deafening silence only broken by a few less than inspiring answers.
“It was long.”
“There was a picture of Gollum.”
Needless to say it was one of those Edge Nights where you know you gave it your best, and sometimes you just can’t control how the youth will respond.
One thing to keep in mind when making your schedule for the semester is to be mindful of the days that most of your youth will have off from school. A day off can greatly affect your Edge Night, so be sure to plan accordingly. If you do decide to have an Edge Night on one of those days, consider doing a lighter topic or even a Social Night.
Work to your advantage when it comes to planning and save those stellar nights of in-depth thinking for a different night.