Touching Honesty in Math Class

Published March 19, 2014 by ashawnomy

Last Friday, we celebrated PI day at the school.  Our 5th and 6th grade class put together a couple of humorous and informative skits and genuinely entertained the rest of the school, while we learned about what PI was and how it is used.  The last hurrah was a contest wherein the students would memorize as many numbers of PI as possible.  This is just simple memorization and some folks are good at this and some aren’t.  Some will really work on it and some will just do it for fun.  Generally, most kids did really well and had fun and the crowd cheered everyone equally.

However, one student did exceptionally well, reciting 405 numbers from memory.  This was quite extraordinary and she obviously worked very hard.  Everyone congratulated her and all believed (even before it began) that she would win.  The contest is not hard-judged and we basically kept track of how far into the numbers each person made it.

When this student left the stage after the contest, she went up to one of her teachers and told her, “I think I mixed up a few of the numbers early on.”  This was completely unsolicited and may had been caught at some point, but no one was really looking and probably wouldn’t have checked.  One of the teachers had recorded the proceedings, and sure enough, she had switched some numbers.

NO ONE would have caught this had she not spoken up.  I have always respected this student, but she quickly elevated herself to someone I admire.  To see this honesty in a person so quickly, shows her respect for all those around her.  Another student went on to win the contest, and that student also greatly deserved the recognition.  We need more folks like this in the science world.  Not that those people aren’t there, but we only hear about the ones who cheat and get caught.  We don’t often hear about the ones who fess up and admit their mistakes, or put their heads down and work hard when things don’t work out.  We really need to hear this stories more often.  So maybe I start it.

Feel free to share any similar stories if you got em!

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