How One Teacher Changed The Lives Of Her Students
One junior high math teacher didn't realize one assignment would go on to change her student's lives. Years ago, after noticing some students seemed upset she asked the class to participate in an exercise. She told them to write each student's name on a piece of paper- and then along side their name they were to write something nice about that person. At the end of class they handed in their papers. That night, she made a list for each student comprised of the anonymous things their classmates said about them. The next day she handed each student their personal list. She saw smiles emerge on their faces as they read their lists. The assignment was never talked about again... but she noticed their moods were happier. Her exercise had worked.
Years later, she got a phone call about one of her students, Evan. He had died in Iraq. She was invited to the funeral by his parents. While she was there, Evan's parents spoke with her. They handed her a piece of paper they found with Evan. It was the list she had given him years ago. They thanked her for giving him the list and explained how much it meant to Evan. Other classmates at the funeral came up to her and expressed their gratitude for the list, too. One woman was even carrying hers in her wallet. She didn't realize the exercise had such an effect on her students. "Now, I do this exercise every year with all of my students. I encourage other teachers to do the same. And I suggest your child's class do it, too! If children are going to learn together, they must learn to coexist happily together as well." I think every class should be given this assignment, no matter their grade or age. You never know when someone needs to hear something nice.