This Teacher Gave Her Students an Assignment That Remained in Their Memory for a Long Time
This inspirational article was first published in Reader’s Digest magazine a few years ago. It told the story of an exceptional teacher who managed to make her students believe in themselves with just one carefully crafted assignment.
Today, we at Bright Side share with you this incredibly inspirational life lesson that will leave no one indifferent.
One day, a math teacher from Minnesota prepared for her students a very interesting assignment. She asked the children to list the names of the other students in the room on a sheet of paper. Then, she asked them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down. At the end of the lesson, each student handed in their paper. It was Friday. Over that weekend, the teacher took the time to analyze the results. She wrote down the name of each child on a separate sheet of paper and listed all the kind thoughts that were expressed about them. The next Monday she gave each student his or her list.
The children were so excited that the room buzzed with whispers and comments like,“Is it really about me?“ ”I didn’t know that anyone liked me that much." They didn’t discuss the results during class, but the teacher knew she had achieved her goal. Her students did believe in themselves.
Several years later, one of those students, Mark Eklund, was killed in Vietnam. The funeral was held in Minnesota, so most of Mark’s classmates along with his math teacher attended the ceremony. After the funeral, the father of this brave young man approached the teacher and said, “I want to show you something.“ He reached for his wallet and pulled out a worn sheet of paper. It was obviously folded and refolded many times. ”They found this among my son’s things. Do you know what it is?“ He handed her a piece of paper. It was the list of good things that Mark’s classmates had once written about him.
“Thank you so much for doing that,” the young man’s mother said. ”Our son treasured it a lot.“
And, then, a surprising thing happened. One after another, Mark’s former classmates started to pull out their lists. Many had always carried it with them in their wallets. Some of them had even put their lists in their photo albums. One man said, ”I think we all saved them. How can we throw such things away?"