Over the weekend, I heard a story about a teacher from my parents. This is a life story about some advice given to a new teacher from an older experienced teacher. Here’s how it goes:
“I saw the class.” He started.
“I know. Some students just don’t listen…” The young teacher sighed in frustration.
“Do you mind if I give you some advice?” The old teacher asked.
The young teacher nodded.
“I’ve been doing this a long time. Each student is unique and you need to treat them accordingly. I’ve seen students go through here and grow into adults. And over the years, I’ve gotten some idea of how certain types of students will turn out. You can even get a sense of it from the grades they earn. So, here’s a bit of what I figured out…
The A students, you should nurture and feed their thirst for knowledge. These students will grow up to be our worlds scientists and engineers.
The B students, you should treat with kindness. These students will grow up to be your future colleagues: teachers, professors, principals, etc…
The C students, you should treat with respect. You see, these are the social students that make connections with other people. They will grow up to be CEOs and Presidents of companies. Your future boss may be in this crop of students.
Now, the D and F students are special. You need to treat these students with particular care. Respect them, be kind to them and nurture them. These are the students that will grow up to change the world. The future Steve Jobs and Bill Gates of the world will be in this group.”
I though this was a wonderful story and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. Of course, it contains a bit of humor, but also has that grain of truth that makes you nod your head.
This story reminds me that everyone has potential. Each person from the A student down to the F student has a role to play in the world. Be kind and respectful of everyone because even if you don’t see the potential now, that young hooligan may grow up to change the world!