Wednesday, I visited with the sixth grade boys at Murray Henderson, and it was kind of overwhelming.
The day before, I visited with our new principal, Mrs. Haggen for quite a while as I briefed her on our history, philosophies and practices. I was impressed and reassured that she was so protective of her charges. Even with all the stories the staff and kids related to her, she still wanted to meet and have an eye-to-eye. Her secretary was the one who called to make sure we were coming to work with their 6th grade.
Well, as most of you know, we work with eighth grade boys, and all that we had promised was that we would come and meet the 6th grade boys and bring that 24 minute perspective adjustment we present that is actually week 2 of our Silverback Society® curriculum. Well these little brothers were sitting there like soldiers, with expectation in their eyes, and when I saw that… it was on, and part of the reason is my grandson, who is also in 6th grade. I’ve been so impressed at how he suddenly stopped being a baby and took life and himself seriously, just by choosing to do so and, with leadership from trusted elders, he entered St. Augustine ready even to face the board if necessary.
So perhaps it is 6th grade.
I believe God screamed at me today. Anytime I receive a revelation from reality I feel like The Master is teaching us, and for us to learn this lesson they had to shut down the school building to force us into trying to work with sixth graders at Murray Henderson when the 7th and 8th grades didn’t fit the temporary location. As ridiculous as it sounds, it may even be easier to work with sixth graders..
So I walk into the room and from the way the teacher proudly stayed out of our way (but enjoyed every moment) and the way these little boys were all sitting waiting to be moved to action, I knew I was a chief. From the time I walked onto that temporary campus, everyone who recognized me treated me like a chief. I felt loved and appreciated by all. This is the kind of stuff that could go to your head, but actually it kind of just makes you not need approval from anyone else, like emotional armor.
This is our fourth year at this school. Most of the sixth graders were third graders when we started keeping promises at Murray Henderson. Everyone at the school knows the Silverback Society® pledge by the end of the year, because we roar it twice each week. Whatever we need to happen so we can work with our boys tends to happen (aware of this deference we are extremely careful about minimizing our special needs). My point is that our history on the campus is making this work easier and easier and more and more pleasant and enjoyable.
What is so funny to me, and now to D'Juan and Dwayne, is that Pastor Wardsworth and I thought that we were just creating a rite of passage for little boys, but the truth is that the Silverback Society® is also very much about the blossoming of men into chiefs for “the village”.
Two questions! Can villages function without chiefs and once a chief, why would you ever want to stop?
Our next session with the sixth graders at Murray Henderson will be at 1:30PM on Thursday December 9th
so please meet us in the office by 1:25 and we would love to have you experience us and determine if this is something you want to add to your life and, no we don’t have meetings, but we do have a website www.silverbacksociety.com
, but if you just show up at one of our sessions, one of us will bring you up to speed. (If you aren’t self motivated, you really can’t work with us.)
This really isn’t rocket science. The curriculum is designed for six weeks, we hangout with them at P/E after that and they change into people that think and act more like us, and everybody treats us like were special. All it really takes is a solid commitment of from one to twenty hours per year, and the pay won’t mess up your taxes.