How Much I Enjoy Him

by | Jun 9, 1998 | Encouragement

Jaime Escalante, the Garfield High School teacher on whom the movie “Stand and Deliver” was based, once told me this story about a fellow teacher. During his first year in the classroom, he had two students name Johnny. One was a happy child, an excellent student, a fine citizen. The other Johnny spent much of his time goofing off and making a nuisance of himself.

When the PTA held its first meeting of the year, a mother came up to this teacher and said, “How’s my son, Johnny, getting along?” He assumed he was the mom of the better student and replied, “I can’t tell you how much I enjoy him. I’m so glad he’s in my class.”

The next day the problem child came to the teacher and said, “My mom told me what you said about me last night. I haven’t ever had a teacher who wanted me in his class.”

That day he completed his assignments and brought in his completed homework the next morning. A few weeks later, the “problem” Johnny had become one of this teacher’s hardest working students—and one of his best friends. This misbehaving child’s life was turned around all because he was mistakenly identified as good student.

Not every lazy or underachieving boy or girl could be motivated by a simple compliment from a teacher, of course, but there is a principle here that applies to all kids: It’s better to make a child stretch to reach your high opinion than stoop to match your disrespect.

Shared by Joe Gatuslao, Philippines


How Much I Enjoy Him