Today was test day in algebra class, and I hoped my students would do well, including Josh who rarely attended to any of the class activities, never did any of the homework, and was failing on every exam.
But yesterday, Josh told me he had caught up...which would have taken a miracle, but I said "Good job, Josh" nevertheless.
As I handed out the tests, I quietly encouraged Josh to focus, hoping that he perhaps share in some of the confident aura shown by Joan, my best math student who sat in front of Josh.
The next day, I asked Josh to stay after class for a brief conversation. The conversation went like this...
Me: "Well, congratulations, both Joan and you got the same test score, except I think your score is suspect!"
Josh, in a complaining voice: "Don't you think that's prejudice or something? You always favor Joan over me!"
Me: "Let me tell you what happened. Both of your test papers were correct all the way through until the last question. Joan answered 'I don't know,' but you answered, 'Me either.'
Note: The "I" in this story is a mathematics teacher relating his/her story.