34 Positive Expectancy
It seems that one year there was a class of students who were so unruly that they burned out two different teachers. One teacher took early retirement and the other decided to get out of teaching altogether. This class was so bad that substitute teachers began to refuse to take it. So the principal called a teacher who had applied for a job but hadn't made the cut that year. He asked her if she would be willing to come in and finish out the year in return for the promise of a full-time position the next year. She eagerly accepted.
The principal decided not to warn the teacher about the class, afraid that she would be scared off if she heard what she was up against. After the new teacher had been on the job for a month, the principal sat in on a class to see how things were going. To his amazement, the students were well-behaved and enthusiastic. After the students had filed out of the classroom, the principal stayed behind to congratulate the teacher on a job well done. She thanked him but insisted that he deserved thanks for giving her such a special class, such a great class, for her first assignment. The principal hemmed and hawed and told her that he really didn't deserve any thanks.
She laughed and told him, "You see, I discovered your little secret on my first day here. I looked in the desk drawer and found the list of the students' IQ scores. I knew I had a challenging group of kids here, so bright and rambunctious that I would really have to work to make school interesting for them because they are so intelligent." She slid the drawer open and the principal saw the list with the students' names and the numbers 136, 145, 127, 128, and so on written next to the names.
He exclaimed , "Those aren't their IQ scores—those are their locker numbers!" Too late. The teacher had already expected the students to be bright and gifted—and they had responded positively to her positive view and her positive handling of them.
(By Bill O'Hanlon)