True Or False

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Wayne B. Lynn

TRUE.....OR.....FALSE

I had stressed the need for honesty, explaining to my students that many times we don't even know our integrity is being tested...

So my class should have been prepared for the snap quiz I gave them that Thursday afternoon. It was a twenty-question, true-or-false test covering material we had discussed during the week.  They finished the test just as the bell rang for dismissal.

Later that evening I very carefully graded each paper, recording the score in my grade book but leaving no marks on the papers.

When the class assembled the next morning, I passed the papers back and, as usual, asked that each student grade his own paper...

"Please count five off for each one missed and subtract the total from one hundred," I instructed. "Your scores please."

"John?"

"85."

"Susan?"

"95."

"Harold?"

"80."

"Arnold?"

"90."

"Mary?"

The response could hardly be heard:  "45."

I went on, putting the grades in my grade book, carefully recording each oral report next to the grade I had recorded the night before.  The comparison was revealing.

A stillness settled on the class when I explained what I had done...

"This was a different kind of test. This test was a test for honesty.  Were you true or false?  I noticed that many of you looked at Mary when she announced her score of 45. Mary, if you don't mind, would you please stand up?  I want each of you to know that in my book Mary just achieved the highest score in the class. You make me feel very proud, Mary."

Mary looked up rather timidly at first, then her eyes glistened as she broke into a smile and rose to her feet.  I had never seen Mary stand so tall. 

 (This Seminary Teacher's experience was shared in the New Era, Sept. 1978, p. 11.)