As I think about this title, it causes me to reflect on some of the young people that I’m meeting on our I Can & I Am bus (I’m sorry I keep mentioning the bus!) It is sometimes very easy to judge people based on their appearance and where they are in their lives at a particular time. But as one delves a little deeper there are many occasions when one realises the battles that some people are facing are sometimes extreme. I had one incident recently when I was talking to a boy who clearly wasn’t engaged in school and was only moderately engaged in the process we were taking him through on the bus…. My antennae rose up wanting to know why he was the way he was. It then became apparent that his parents were separated, his father in prison and his mother a sex worker. What a huge amount for a young man to go through. On understanding this I immediately changed my approach and I was aware that my initial judgements were completely unfounded. What I’m saying is, let’s do our best not to judge people by appearance or behaviour but to understand that there is often a hidden story that may be affecting their life and therefore their attitude. It’s essential that we always try to combine empathy with a young person’s learning progress to ensure that we meet their individual needs.
I’ve already spoken at a great number of schools this term and as always I’ve been talking to young people about how they can best inflate