New Ways of Thinking and Revolutionary Common Sense

Disability Is Natural Books and Media

Like you, I had no conscious faith, but if I acted, then the faith would surely follow. After that, I would believe because I had acted. Perhaps that is how faith is born, I thought: by action and not by contemplation. It was worth a try. Anything was better than stasis.

John leCarre

Have you heard this tale about a school teacher? On the last day of school, a weary, worn-out teacher entered the principal’s office for one last visit before the summer vacation. “Please,” the teacher begged, “give me better students next year—I can’t handle another year like this past one!” Three months passed, and on the first day of the new school year, the teacher eye-balled her class roster with growing excitement. She read, “Susan Jones-135, Lolo Brown-140, Maria Lopez-144...” and so on. “Geniuses” she thought, “I have a class of geniuses!” That school year was wonderful—for the teacher and her students!

On the last day of school, the teacher came across the class roster in the bottom of a drawer. It was wrinkled and torn in a few places, but she gazed at it fondly. At the end of the day, she stopped by the principal’s office. “Thank you for the best year ever,” she gushed, waving the class roster like a flag. “This made all the difference—my class of geniuses!” Puzzled, the principal took a quick look at the paper and said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about—these numbers were their locker assignments!”

Learning that she had mistakenly assumed the numbers were her students’ IQ scores didn’t change a thing: the teacher still had the best year ever! At the beginning of that school year, she believed the best about her students, had high expectations for them, and was excited! In turn, her students lived up to—and even exceeded—her expectations. None actually had a “genius IQ,” but in her mind they did, and that’s what mattered! Her attitude—not the students’ actual academic abilities—made the difference! The teacher learned a great lesson. Can we learn from this, too? Click here to continue.

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Great Expectations