Have you ever felt like you and your teenager are speaking a different language? We hear words like GOAT, awks, TBH, skurt, beef, shook, and boujee and wish we had a pocket translator just to stay with the conversation. What was once ‘ace’ or ‘groovy,’ is now ‘sic’ and ‘lit.’ Spilling the tea, what you may think is a clumsy move with a hot drink, now means sharing the new gossip or drama. And the worst part? It’s constantly evolving (just so you know, ‘on fleek’ is no longer ‘sic’). This complex group of acronyms, slang, and code has become a common vocabulary for students across the country. Not to mention the cultural trends and ideas that are second nature to your teen but most likely foreign to you. Can you identify a VSCO girl? Have you ever created a TikTok? Can you send the perfect gif?
So, how do you overcome this language and cultural barrier to stay connected to your student through their teenage years? How can you build a strong, trusting relationship with your student when you have no idea how to relate to their everyday experiences? You have to become bicultural – learn their slang and understand the teenage culture they find themselves immersed in.
Emmanuel Christian Academy has recently partnered with Axis.org to provide ongoing “culture resources” to better understand the society in which we’re raising our youth. With Axis’ extensive research, expertise, resources, and events, we hope to equip staff and families with the knowledge and tools to identify these influences and trends that are rapidly changing in the lives of our students.
We are excited to have access to resources like “The Culture Translator”. Through Axis.org, all Emmanuel families will receive weekly newsletters providing insights into pop culture, trends, and ideas that impact students today through music, social media, technology, and entertainment. We hope this tool will encourage communication and break down some of the cultural barriers that exist.
To launch this initiative, Axis, Emmanuel, and The Salvation Army are co-hosting the national “Unaltered Tour” at Emmanuel Christian Academy on Thursday, April 2, 2020 from 6:00PM – 8:00PM. The event is for students and parents alike and is free and open to the public. The Unaltered Tour brings engaging performances, dynamic worship and authentic testimonies that proclaim the fullness of life within God’s unaltered design. It’s a powerful event that seeks to inspire student courage and conviction to walk with Jesus Christ and find their identity and purpose in Him.
During the first hour of the Unaltered Tour event, Axis will host a parent breakout where we will examine the leading technologies that are discipling the next generation. Because technology has revolutionized the world, this session will offer examples of practical steps to teach students how to use it wisely. We then invite parents to join the students for the remainder of the event.
The Unaltered Tour event is strategically placed between two Student Engagement sessions held at Emmanuel on April 2 and 3rd. Engagement sessions are quarterly learning opportunities specifically designed for Emmanuel students. This quarter Engagement Sessions will be led by Axis and focus on the use of social media and trending technologies. Parent Guides will be sent to parents in advance so they too can learn and, more importantly, have meaningful conversations with their student on the topic.
This is a long-term, ongoing strategy that will include additional Student Engagement sessions, family resources, and Chapel topics throughout the year.
If you’re interested in attending the Unaltered Tour or Axis Parent Meeting, you can register at www.ecaoh.com/unaltered
About Emmanuel Christian Academy: Emmanuel Christian Academy is a private Christian school established in 1997 in Springfield, Ohio. There are over 300 students from transitional-kindergarten to twelfth grade enrolled for the 2019-20 academic year. Emmanuel is a Christ-centered learning community that exists to educate students and prepare them for God’s calling. Emmanuel emphasizes academic excellence, spiritual growth, and character development. For more information visit www.ecaoh.com.
John Essig | Superintendent
Emmanuel Christian Academy