Don’t judge a student by the low points

I am getting ready to go on holidays, where I plan not only to get down to Portland to finish my M. Ed., but to spend some quality time with the family. I hope to get in lots of reading and rejuvenation.
I would like to share one of my favorite posts from this past school year.

I had a really great conversation with a teacher yesterday.  We were talking about a student who is in line to win an award for his talents in a particular subject area.  This student recently got into some trouble at school (the details of the incident do not matter).  This teacher told me that he was thinking about revoking the award that this particular student had earned because of the incident.  He went on to tell me that he did some serious thinking (and conversing) about the situation over the weekend and came up with the following conclusion.

This student is earning an award for his talent and work ethic in this particualr subject area.  The trouble that he had got himself into had consequences and those consequences had been met therefore the award and the incident of discipline have ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with each other.  The teacher shared with me a quote that I think I will remember for a long time: “You can’t judge a person by the low points in their life.”

This student deserves this award and the award will be presented to him. 

How many times do we judge people based on the low points in their lives?  How many times do we make decisions without thinking about the bigger picture?


  1. Tom Sack said:

    Great quote, and a very important thought when you look at the new students you will have next year. It is so easy to hear what the previous teacher said about a particular child, and carry those thoughts and images into the first day of school. Thanks for sharing the story.

    July 5, 2011
  2. I’m not sure if we should judge students not only by their low points, but also by their behaviour, or even their way of thinking. Each cases has its own background, we don’t know the reasons why a student misbehave, have low points…is it because his/her background? As teachers we have to see students as a whole, taking into account everything, and definetely we are not here to judge them. It takes a lot of thinking before acting , I would say…
    Thanks a lot

    July 5, 2011
  3. Fred De Sena said:

    It is always good to be reminded of this, and it is applicable almost on a daily basis…. Fred

    July 6, 2011
  4. Thomas Weber said:

    I agree with this philosophy and wonder why the practice of averaging grades is so widely accepted in schools. -Thomas Weber, Head of School, Hyla Middle School

    July 6, 2011
  5. […] post is a reflection on the article “Don’t Judge a Student by the Low Points” from the blog Connected […]

    July 6, 2011
  6. Sam said:

    Exactly. Most students with low points are most of the time the smarter ones, really.

    September 20, 2011
    • Derek Hatch said:

      Thanks everyone for the comments. Everyone is entitled to make a mistake…that is when the learning happens!
      So glad that I was able to share a post with which you could connect.

      September 20, 2011

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