A Special Teacher

Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
January 20, 2001

Years ago a John Hopkin’s professor gave a group of graduate students this assignment: Go to the slums. Take 200 boys, between the ages of 12 and 16, and investigate their background and environment. Then predict their chances for the future. The students, after consulting social statistics, talking to the boys, and compiling much data, concluded that 90 percent of the boys would spend some time in jail.

Twenty-five years later another group of graduate students was given the job of testing the prediction. They went back to the same area. Some of the boys – by then men – were still there, a few had died, some had moved away, but they got in touch with 180 of the original 200. They found that only four of the group had ever been sent to jail.

Why was it that these men, who had lived in a breeding place of crime, had such a surprisingly good record? The researchers were continually told: “Well, there was a teacher…” They pressed further, and found that in 75 percent of the cases it was the same woman.

The researchers went to this teacher, now living in a home for retired teachers. How had she exerted this remarkable influence over that group of children? Could she give them any reason why these boys should have remembered her? “No,” she said, “no I really couldn’t.” And then, thinking back over the years, she said amusingly, more to herself than to her questioners: “I loved those boys…”

Author Unknown  –  Please comment if you know the author
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  1. The fact that she loved the boys got through to them. Love makes a huge difference.


  2. I love this! And yes love can knock down many walls , overcome the seemingly impossible and change lives/the world


  3. Such a lovely heartwarming story. And yes love does conquer a lot and you feel the love. Apparently those boys did feel her love and stayed on the path of good.


  4. Linne said:

    I had four teachers like that and I still remember them. We moved at least once a year for a long time, so there were many teachers. Oh, and my first grade teacher; so that makes five. I was very lucky! When I was studying ‘education’ at uni, the biggest emphais was on discipline; nothing was said or suggested about love. I gave up the first spring and dropped out (two very unloving interactions with instructors led directly to that decision); with a different emphasis, I would have finished. So at any level, love makes the difference. ~ Linne


  5. Linne said:

    Reblogged this on A Random Harvest and commented:
    Worth reading, my friends; even if you are not dealing with teachers, I think the lesson applies to all our interactions with others. ~ Linne


  6. Carole Boshart said:

    Love makes all the difference, no matter who the person is that shows the love, and no matter who the person is that is shown the love. Don’t limit the love!


  7. and I can say, “I had a teacher. . .” too. She taught in our one-room school house, stoked her own fires in the winter, cleaned her own chalk boards, and most of all, loved us. All eight grades of us. I’m sharing this on facebook where many of my fbf are also teachers currently, or have retired, like me.


  8. hrobertson2013 said:

    There is no standardized test for this thing……Love. Thank God!


  9. Oh, Lord, may I remember the power of your love and invest it generously in those I meet!


  10. I hope years from now the students I interact with as an assistant will remember the fact that I love to laugh with them and take pride in all their growth whether it be academic or social.


  11. we should always leave a good mark on other people life.


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