Teachers should treat all of their students fairly and in reality, it is hard to be done. It suffices to say that most teachers prefer straight-A students to problematic ones and this teacher was one of them.
However, she later learned that her perception of these problematic students was wrong.
A teacher noticed one boy who sat in the front row was being extremely quiet.
The boy, unlike his other classmates, did not participate in the class activities at all and it certainly did not help with his scruffy appearance and low marks.
Soon after, the school holiday came and the teacher had to review past records of each student in the class. When the teacher finally viewed all the past records of the boy, she was surprised.
His first-grade teacher wrote: He is a very clever, very polite child with a smile that can bring happiness to those around him.
His second-grade teacher wrote: He is a good student and very popular among other students. However, he cannot perform well due to his mother’s poor health and a difficult family situation.
Meanwhile, his third-grade teacher wrote: The boy faces a hard time due to his mother’s passing and is the sole breadwinner for his family. His father is still alive but is not a reliable parent.
Lastly, the fourth-grade teacher wrote: The student is passive and does not socialize with his classmates. He is not interested in learning, has no friends and often sleeps in class.
It was at that time that the teacher finally learned the truth about the boy whom she always overlooked during class.
She felt ashamed because she failed to understand the boy first and instead, accused him of being lazy and difficult.
When the school holiday was over, students came to school with gifts to give to the teachers. The teacher received many presents from the students but one present had especially caught her attention.
It was wrapped with a crumbled waxed kraft paper unlike other presents which were wrapped in colorful and expensive wrapping paper and ribbons.
Apparently, the humble gift was from the boy and there were a chipped crystal bracelet and a bottle of perfume which had only a quarter of its content left.
Seeing the presents, the teacher then wore the bracelet and sprayed the perfume on her wrist. She later looked straight at the boy and praised that the bracelet was beautiful.
As soon as the boy heard the teacher’s words, he burst into tears, touched by the teacher’s kind gesture.
Ever since that day, the teacher never forgot to pay attention to the boy and encouraged him to study hard. By the end of the year, the boy became the best student in the class.
Later, the boy graduated and went on to further his studies at the college but he always wrote letters to the teacher to thank her for believing in him.
“You remain as the best teacher I have ever met in my life as a student,” the boy always ended each of his letters with the sentence.
A few years later, the boy sent a letter to the teacher and invited her to his wedding in place of his late mother. On the wedding day, the teacher wore the very same bracelet and the perfume that the boy gave years ago.
When they finally reunited at the wedding, the boy hugged the teacher and whispered in her ear, “Thank you, thank you very much for letting me know that I can make a difference.”
The teacher then burst into tears and replied, “You’re wrong. I did not know how to be a teacher until I met you.”
It is true that it is hard to treat every student the same and with a fair treatment but each of them has the potential to succeed and like it or not, the teacher’s attitude can either boost their potential or destroy them.