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Sheep or Lions

Often when a child is not following your lead it's because of their personality, preference, and perspective that is dissimilar to yours. Sometimes there are sheep and sometimes there are lions, and knowing which you are will help you recognize who they are.


When teachers are sheep,

they can't lead lions.


There are teachers who are sheep and teachers who are lions. When a sheep-teacher is trying to lead a class, most of the children who comply may be lambs. Student-lambs will always follow the sheep-teacher because they connect with the sheep-teacher and feel safe in their presence.


A sheep-teacher who has a student-lion in their class will see his behaviors as disruptive. The student-lion may be the leaders, advocates, and individual thinkers of the future. They roar, they growl, they push against the norm, and they pull away from anything that makes them act like a sheep.


The sheep-teacher who feels challenged by the student-lion’s unrelenting questions does not realize he is attempting to understand and translate sheep talk into lion talk. They may be thinking outside of the box, which makes the sheep-teacher think outside of the box to answer the student-lion’s questions. But what if they are teaching from the box marked “sheep.” The sheep-teacher may get frustrated and discipline the student-lion who is trying to learn but does not speak sheep.


The teachers who are lions will lead student-lions and see them as one of their own. There is a reason why a group of lions is called a “pride.” The lion-teacher sees the student-lion’s behaviors and knows instantly how to redirect them to a new way of complying that does not force them to be something they are not.


The sheep-teacher who is not trained to recognize the lions from the lambs will not be able to change the behavior without changing the lion into a lamb. Trying to change a student-lion into a lamb may result in stifling the student-lion’s greatest abilities and could result in destroying the student-lion altogether. I believe a lot of children are committing suicide because they are lions who are shamed and rejected by the sheep-parents at home and sheep-teachers who want them to act like sheep.


Consider the lions of the past and how they stepped into roles of leadership as adults. Military leaders, business leaders, and entrepreneurs who had to take the risk to step out of the crowd to be someone unique. Lambs grow up to become sheep and will always need a shepherd to follow. Lions won’t follow anyone. They stand alone, face adversity, and courageously go where sheep are too scared to go. Jesus said we are to train a child in the way they should go, and when they are old, they will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6). When a teacher can teach a child according to their personality (lion or sheep) the child will grow into the person God intended them to be, “fearfully and wonderfully made.”


I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well."

Psalms 139:14

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