He came up to me in the hallway between classes, somewhat visibly upset. We’d just had a meeting with the principal in which he explained his very high expectations for everyone, especially including dress code. This young man was soon thereafter working on tucking his shirt in when the charge of “sagging pants” was made.
“I got a referral for that,” he said. “Can you believe that?”
It was one of those moments that I hide my true opinion.
“Bad luck, I guess.” Probably not terribly fair, I thought. He seemed to handle it like an adult, though. He was irritated, but not furious, and his demeanor told me that he’d managed to keep his cool during the encounter.
“So what did you learn from that?” I asked.
“Nothin’. There’s nothing I can learn.”
It’s the challenge I face with so many of my students. See the world around you as the Ubiquitous Classroom. Understand that the mindful person can learn something — about herself, about the world, about her influence on others — from just about every action and interaction.
I really shouldn’t be surprised if they haven’t learned this: they’re thirteen and I, almost three times their age, still forget to be on the lookout for the hidden lesson.