A teacher stood before a class of thirty senior mathematics students. Before he passed out the final exam he stated, “I have been privileged to be your instructor this semester, and I know how hard you have worked to prepare for this test. Because I am confident that you know this material, I am prepared to offer an automatic B to anyone who opts to skip taking the final exam.”
There was great relief for some. A number of students went right for the offer and thanked the teacher.
“Last chance,” said the teacher and one more student went.
The instructor then handed out the final exam, which consisted of two sentences. “Congratulations,” it read, “you have just received an A in this class. Keep believing in yourself."
Christian, author, and professor of mathematics education.