“What can one teacher do?” – “Many A. Teacher” :o)

What can one teacher do?

I asked this previously here on THE LEARNING CLINIC WORLDWIDE blog, posted on April 28, 2010.

That article detailed what an ordinary teacher, Miss “A,” did in a poor elementary school in a ravaged neighborhood in the city of Montreal, province of Quebec, Canada.

She simply defied the immediate evidence in the Grade One class in front of  her, and made sure each child knew she personally cared about them, regardless of their academic performance or personal deportment. What an achievement!

The students carried that remarkable Grade One experience with them all through school and into life. What an achievement!

If you wish to review that article, simply click on the colored title below:

What can one teacher do?

Someone thought, “Maybe that was just a “one-off” Canadian example

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Image from: http://www.profile-comments.com/images/teacher/

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What about this example?

It was reliably reported to me that John Hopkins University did a retrospective study as well.

A class of grad students had been sent into a slum neighborhood to pick out 200 slum boys, aged 12 to 16. The grad students had been trained to do personal “workups” on each of these selected 200 boys and to predict which of them would end up in prison.

The result?

The prediction was that 180 of these boys would end up in prison (90%).

Twenty-five years later, more grad students were sent out to locate these boys. Apparently some tracking had been done in the meantime so that this task proved not impossible. Most of the 180 boys were located.

Big surprise!

Only 4 of the 180 boys had served time (about 2%), not anywhere near the high prediction.

Why? Why had most of the boys stayed out of prison?

The prediction instrument used had validity. What “messed” things up so beautifully!?

Turns out that about 75% of these 180 boys had had a certain teacher.

So the researchers looked up the teacher, found her in a nursing home. When asked if she could think of what she might have done that would have so influenced these boys that they had avoided prison, she replied, “No . . . I really couldn’t say . . . ”

She looked off into the distance, and then–more to herself than to the researchers–she said under her breath:

“I sure loved those boys.”

Doc Meek, Tuesday, June 15, 2010 (2nd posting, evening)

At Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA; not at South Jordan, Utah, USA

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