Your email:


An answer different from what we expect

A teacher teaching Maths to five-year-old student asked him, “If I
give you one apple and one apple and one apple, how many apples
will you have? “Within a few seconds the student replied
confidently, “Four!”
The dismayed teacher was expecting an effortless correct answer
(three). She was disappointed. “Maybe the child did not listen
properly,” she thought. She repeated, “My boy, listen carefully. If I
give you one apple and one apple and one apple, how many apples
will you have?”
The student had seen the disappointment on his teacher’s face. He
calculated again on his fingers. But within him he was also
searching for the answer that will make the teacher happy. His
search for the answer was not for the correct one, but the one that
will make his teacher happy. This time hesitatingly he replied,
The disappointment stayed on the teacher’s face. She remembered
that this student liked strawberries. She thought maybe he doesn’t
like apples and that is making him loose focus. This time with an
exaggerated excitement and twinkling in her eyes she asked, “If I
give you one strawberry and one strawberry and one strawberry,
then how many you will have?”
Seeing the teacher happy, the boy calculated on his fingers again.
There was no pressure on him, but a little on the teacher. She
wanted her new approach to succeed. With a hesitating smile the
student enquired, “Three?”
The teacher now had a victorious smile. Her approach had
succeeded. She wanted to congratulate herself. But one last thing
remained. Once again she asked him, “Now if I give you one apple
and one apple and one more apple how many will you have?”
Promptly the student answered, “Four!”
The teacher was aghast. “How my boy, how?” she demanded in a
little stern and irritated voice. In a voice that was low and hesitating
young student replied, “Because I already have one apple in my
Moral of the Story:
When someone gives you an answer that is different from what you
expect, don’t think they are wrong. There maybe an angle that you
have not understood at all. You will have to listen and understand,
but never listen with a predetermined notion.

Leave a Reply