Miss Carmichael was the teacher for the fourth graders at Liver Spoon Grade School. Her students had a serious problem. None of them ever said thank you. They never said it to the teacher, to each other, or anyone. She decided to see if she could find a way to get them to start saying it, so she came up with a plan.
“Starting today,” she told her class, “we are going to have a contest. Here on my desk is a very nice prize. It is a popular videogame system and three of the coolest games they make. Anyone can win this; all you have to do is say the magic word. The first person who says the magic word will win the prize.”
Well, as you can imagine, the kids were very excited. And every one of them was certain that he or she could guess the word. The kids started calling out every word that they could think of. “AARDVARK! TORTOISE! HAMBURGER! CHOCOLATE!” they shouted all at once.
This went on for quite some time until the teacher finally said, “ENOUGH! From now on, you cannot just shout out words. You have to use the magic word in a sentence during conversation with each other or with me.”
It was amazing how many words were used that the students had never said before. “Miss Carmichael, you look SPIFFY today,” one boy said.
“Miss Carmichael, I am going to eat TURKEY for lunch.”
Things were rather strange for a long time after that day. However, after a month had gone by without any of the children guessing the magic word, it seemed that no one was going to win the prize.
Then one day, a new boy transferred from another school. It was his first day and the kids laughed at him when he came into the room because he had red, bushy hair, wore thick glasses, and dressed in clothes that the kids said were un-cool. The teacher was angry with her class for being so rude. “That will be quite enough! Now, I want you all to make Pierpont feel…,” When she said his name, the class broke into laughter again. “STOP IT! Pierpont is new here, and I want you to make him feel welcome.”
Then the teacher said to Pierpont, “We are very glad to have you in our class. Do you have a pencil?”
Pierpont said, “No. I haven’t had a chance to get any school supplies yet.”
“Well, here is a pencil you can have,” the teacher said as she handed him a plain yellow pencil.
Pierpont took it and said, “Thanks.”
“Well, we have a winner!” Miss Carmichael announced.
The kids in the class were shocked. “WHAT? WHAT DID HE SAY?”
“He said the magic word. It was thanks. That’s all anyone of you had to say, and not one of you ever said thanks or thank you for anything. You didn’t say it to me or to each other.”
Pierpont became very popular after that. Everyone wanted to come over to his house and play the new video games with him. He was a very friendly person and was happy to have the guys come over to his house. The kids from school found out that Pierpont was a pretty good guy after all, and they ended up liking him and learning to be more polite.teaching story, Sunday school, children's worship, public school class, parents, home schooling, children, kids, educational