If you think in metaphors, here’s a great book on shepherding: A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23. It’s short (quick read), packed with illustrations, and gives you something to picture when thinking about shepherding students.
So let’s say you’re watching over a few students either as your job or because God put them on your heart. Over time your intuition kicks in. You see things that leave you uneasy. Red flags. Should you go there? Say something? Bring it up?
Make it easy on yourself. Hone your relational skills with students. Learn the methods that make for natural, easy progression from friendly to caring to personal conversation. That way you can easily engage when necessary.
Because sooner is better.
We have a situation that’s been festering for years. Awkwardness and concern over angry reactions kept us from moving into the situation sooner. Now it’s nearly beyond helping.
Always think like a shepherd. What would a good shepherd do?