In the early days of my career I had the privileged of being a youth worker that went into our local high school. I was employed by my local church as a schools worker and spent much of my time running lunchtime programs. I spent much of my time building relationships with teachers, support staff and principals. I was in a lucky position. Many of my friends across the world had many more restrictions placed on them when working with and in schools.
One of the subjects in my Bachelor Degree was youth work and the schooling system in the course I learnt a lot about the way education has been framed through history and how it is placed in the current context. I also learnt that to be effective in the system that sometimes you had to work around the system. Honestly, it was one of my least favoured subjects. It really did not teach me how to work in the schooling system.
As youth workers we are guests in the education system. We are seen as providers of non-formal education… life skills and the like. When young people come to us they are not getting a qualification or an understanding of the three R’s (does that mean teachers can’t spell???). Instead we look after the other stuff. We develop the personal.
It is a sacred spot to work in the education system and we must honour the opportunity. The only way it can work is if the relationships are solid.
If you haven’t yet, sign up for our newsletter to find out all the goings on at Ultimate Youth Worker. (Sign up here)