Blog #77 I got the best students
You always want to have the right story at the right time, for the right audience. This is a copy of the story I told on opening day at my school to our staff in Port Jervis, New York. There are several takeaways from the story, and it was my hope that it got people thinking about preconceived ideas, things that we say to kids, and their first impressions. Take the story and use it as your own. Let’s all continue our work with the mindset that all students can learn and achieve regardless of their backgrounds, and history.
Principal Jones asked to see first year teacher Maggie Smith near the end of the school year. He greeted Maggie warmly and told her he wanted to congratulate her on a great year. Maggie’s students did exceptionally well throughout the year and finished with some of the highest scores in the building. Principals’ Jones told her that he was very impressed. Maggie felt great about these compliments but was a little confused. She thanked Principal Jones and said to him, “You gave me the top students so of course they would do well.” Principal Jones was also a little confused and asked, “Why would you say that Maggie? Maggie stated “Well I had the students IQs at the beginning of the year and I could see that they were all high performers and very intelligent.”
Again Principal Jones was a little confused and asked: Why would you think that? Maggie stated that in the beginning of the year the students IQ scores were in her desk. Here they are right here Maggie said. Principal Jones looked at the sheet and saw the student roster along with numbers next to them. Andy Evans 120, Joanne Thompson 121, Mike Phillips 122, Jared Kaman 123, Deb Carter 124.
Maggie continued: See Principal Jones, their IQs were off the charts so I knew they would do well. Principal Jones laughed. He laughed even harder and said Maggie these are not their IQs, these are their locker numbers! The students you had were some of the lowest-performing students in the school.
Moral of the story: We all have a big number of high-performing students, a large number of students who fall right in the middle, and certainly we have our challenges. If we continue to believe in all of our students regardless of their ability and have a high expectation for learning regardless of the trauma or hurdles in their lives ….We will succeed. They will succeed and all parties will do great things for kids!
Quote: “Seek opportunities to show you care. The smallest gestures often make the biggest difference.” ― John Wooden