Note to Self:
You told another teacher that you could handle a few eighth grade trouble makers because they might need a "strong male figure." It's a nice term teachers use when they want to say, "this kid acted like a screw-off and you need to take him in your class." Others around you had used the term and without thinking, you tossed it around as well. Sorry to break it to you, but you're not that strong. You're not even that male -- if you are defining masculinity in a Chuck Norris, take-no-prisoners mentality. What you can provide is a relationship, a connection, a sense of compassion mixed with a hard dose of truth. Your strength will not come from being strong, but through being humble. For a few of those kids, you might be the first example of a man who is sensitive and honest and faithful.