Last week we went on a field trip. One student arrived at school late and was literally the last one to board the bus. About 15 minutes down the road, my phone rang and a confused parent on the other end asked, “Did you forget me?” Oops – it was the mother of my late student, and I had, indeed, forgotten her. When I questioned her daughter about why she hadn’t asked me to wait for her mom, she said, “Because you told us that you wouldn’t wait for anybody who was late!”
Later that same day, I stood outside in a huddle of 8th graders who were trying to stay warm in 45-degree weather. I reminded them that I had encouraged them to dress warmly, and one of them replied, “I did! I’m wearing my sweatshirt!”
The next day I stopped a 7th grader and asked him why he was walking down the hall like a penguin. “It’s my new shoes,” he explained. “If I bend my feet, they’re going to get creases above my toes!”
I see and hear this kind of thing every day. Despite what they think, teens don’t yet have the world figured out. They lack life experience, and they haven’t developed much of what we adults call “common sense” – but what is really wisdom gained from living and learning.
Sometimes they make us laugh, sometimes they make us stop and question ourselves, but if you listen carefully – they’ll always give you a glimpse into how their unfolding brains work!
They never cease to surprise me.