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Pass Along Your Blessings

Pass Along Your Blessings Joseph Purpura.png

Each of us has experienced a time where a stranger has gone out of their way to help us in a time of need. We are never prepared to receive such kindness, but it serves as a reminder that blessings do exist. Many people wish they had a way to repay these acts, but they cannot think of an appropriate solution. It is my belief, however, that the best way to repay kindness is to pass it along. The next time you receive help from someone you do not know, try one of these acts to pass along the blessings.

Pay For The Next Customer

This one is as simple as it is popular. A great way to make someone’s day is by paying for their coffee order. There have been stories of hundreds of people paying for the next person’s order at drive thrus. You could, with some help from the cashier, do this in a store, as well. In fact, there are few places you could not do this. It may not cost a ton, but it will surely make someone happy.

Have Dinner With The Homeless

How many times have you seen homeless people begging for food? Yes, there are people panhandling when they have no need, but some people genuinely could use a burger and fries. Next time you see a homeless person, ask them if they would like to have dinner with you. You don’t have to go somewhere expensive; there is probably a cheap fast food place somewhere in the vicinity. Sit down, talk with them, and help them feel cared for. Make sure they eat and let them choose what they would like. Some people are down on their luck for reasons beyond their control, and they will always remember this act of compassion.

Offer Help To Those In Need

Have you ever seen a person with a flat tire, looking around hopelessly? How about someone stranded on the side of the road with a broken-down car? These are the people who could use an extra hand, even if you aren’t handy. Ask if the person would like some help, and if you have experience with the problem, let them know. Many people will deny help, but the act of offering your assistance will stick with them. However, plan to follow through until the end if you do offer. Not only is it the noble thing to do, it will also mean a lot to the person you helped.

Receiving blessings reminds us that God is watching out for us. Passing along our blessings is a great way to bring God’s love into our daily lives. Next time you have the opportunity, pass along your blessings to someone else who could use them.

From JosephPurpura.org

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Differences Between Teaching Adults, Teens, and Children

Differences Between Teaching Adults, Teens, and Children Joseph Purpura.png

Teaching is a difficult profession that requires patience and adaptability. Each class presents their own quirks and challenges, but these often vary by age. Any new teacher must decide which age range they prefer teaching, and this can be difficult without experience. Today, I will reflect on the differences between teaching adults, teens, and children so you are able to make an informed decision before pursuing higher education.

Children

Let’s begin with the youngest of our groups. Children in school are typically between the ages of 4-12. There is significant development during this time, and encounters with unprofessional teachers can leave an impact on them when venturing into middle school and beyond. Teaching elementary-aged students requires an incomprehensible amount of patience, for numerous reasons. The first is the lack of maturity. Children often pick up habits from their caretakers, and repeat them without considering the consequences. If you teach a child whose parent bullies them, you may see a bully in the classroom. A spoiled child may expect the same behavior from you. We cannot control how parents raise their children, so teachers of this age must expect the absolute worst, and realize that getting through to these kids may be more difficult than they anticipated. The second reason is a concentration of energy; when have you ever seen a group of kids that could all sit still? The third is the severity of consequences placed on teachers who discipline their class. Teachers may find more success reforming children’s behavior, rather than punishing them for it.

Teens

Teens, on the other hand, require patience for other reasons. Teens can act unusual, as they are discovering their identity and must try to find what works. You may also encounter more intense behavioral problems, clique formation, and a lack of respect for authority. However, teens also have a better ability to reason, so there is a good chance you can talk through problems with your students, rather than resorting to time-outs or other punishments.

Adults

Where you see a huge departure is with adults. Unless you are teaching a general education requirement, most of the students in your classes will be there because they enjoy the subject. You have a great opportunity here — you can either make the class engaging, or you can make it boring. Your students will react appropriately. While you don’t have to pretend to be their age, it can also help to relate to them in some way. The biggest problem when teaching adults is the lack of motivation. Without strict boundaries, like those in high school, students can care more about their social life than their classes. However, there will always be a few good students each semester who make the position worthwhile.

Children, teens, and adults are significantly different in terms of maturity and habits, so it is no wonder that teaching them varies just as much. While each offers many positives, there are also negatives to keep in mind. No matter what you decide, be sure to thoroughly think about what every day may look like for you, and whether you have decided to teach the right age group.

From JosephPurpura.org

Teen SOYO and the Pennsylvania Special Olympics

Teen SOYO SOAD

For many years, I have served Chairman of the Department of Youth and Parish Ministries, which includes overseeing Teen SOYO, an organization of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America that aims to teach teens how to live a spiritually fulfilling life with God. One of our biggest commitments is to show teens how to serve others in the name of Jesus Christ. In the late 1970s, Teen SOYO formed a partnership with the Pennsylvania Special Olympics, through the good work Dr. Anthony Bashir’s relationship to Eunice Kennedy Shriver (the founder of the Special Olympics). Today, I would like to highlight some facts about this partnership, as well as the work our teens have done, all in the name of Christ and the Church.

In 1979, teen leaders in our Youth Movement felt a strong urge to reach out and support the community. The teens themselves recommended providing a week of camp to the Special Olympic Athletes of the state of Pennsylvania. Through the desire of the teens to serve and gift this opportunity to the Special Olympic Athletes and the good work of Dr. Basir and the openness of the Shriver family a relationship that has last all these years was born, and we quickly established the partnership that has lasted nearly 40 years.

The SOYO youth movement, along with leaders of Special Olympics, decided we would host a week-long training camp that would cater to participants of the various events. Our teens would provide all of the financial costs of the one week camp, and most importantly, our teens would serve as counselors and other staff members, collaborating with the camp staff already in place. Although our teens were all eager to begin this camp, we had to wait until 1980 to officially begin hosting.

Throughout the years, we have worked hard and overcame struggles with hosting. There were times where our fundraising efforts (necessary for the camp to continue) were not producing the results we needed. At first, our church planned to fundraise as Teen SOYO without mention of Special Olympics. However, after we made our partnership clear, we quickly began to raise enough money to operate. For Special Olympics Awareness Day, our teens created a video asking for help, which was shared with several parishes. Our organized efforts worked much better than they had before.

This past summer, Teen SOYO hosted its 36th Special Olympics training camp, and in October we held our 37th Special Olympics Awareness Day. Every year, we are blessed to have a group of volunteers who eagerly anticipate to reaching out to others and sharing the love of Christ through their acts. We look forward to continuing this tradition this year, and for many years to come.

Please check out https://teensoyo.org/special-olympics/ for more information.

From JosephPurpura.net