For example, just yesterday I had to deal with a bright sophomore in my class who is living with deep psychological issues and whose family environment conspires to make things worse. He has recently stopped doing his homework and I caught him cheating on a test in my class. Now one obvious approach would have been to make him live with the consequences of his bad decisions by throwing a big fat F at him and maybe yelling a couple of insults. But something told me to sit with him after class instead and talk. The "something" that told me to take that approach must have been at least partly my refusal to be limited by my expectations of what a troubled kid from a dysfunctional home can accomplish. It turned out to be an enlightening conversation. It seems that he hadn't studied for my test because of some chaos going on at home, but had somehow managed to finish a report for Biology and study for another test, and finally got to bed at 3:00 a.m. The upshot was that he's going to take the test again on Monday. He's easily capable of getting an A. We'll see...
Meanwhile I'm trying to be a witness to the Paschal Principle that our expectations can and must go way beyond the limitations of our prejudgments about what is possible.
|"We are witnesses to these things"|