At least 10 times over the last 2 years I have had sad, hurt parents tell me the teacher of their child (primary years) has cast a very negative judgement on their child. Here are a few typical ones:
- “Will never be academic,” (turned out to be an A student),
- “Will not amount to much,” – child picked that up and then pretty much believed it and went on to tell her Mum that the teacher “knows I will never be able to do it!”
- “Will make a good hairdresser”- yes- that really WAS said! Apologies to all hairdressers as I think you are amazingly gifted!
- “You need to lower your expectations because he will NEVER go to Uni- just doesn’t have the capacity.” (That one went on to top his high-school year and will definitely be going to uni!)
How can trained educators do that?
How can we judge human potential so lightly and go on to trample on everyone’s dreams?
Whenever I look at the groups I teach I am always aware that I might have an Einstein, a Richard Branson, Maria Montessori, Marie Curie or a Bill Gates sitting in front of me. They might wriggle around, show little interest and be downright non-compliant at times. So what? Maybe my chosen teaching method that day was boring. Maybe they already knew the material. Maybe they were tired or had a fight with their best friend………
Many very successful adults did very poorly at school and in fact failed!
What does that tell us?
It could be us as educators or our inflexible exam based system that is breaking the spirit of our children and holding up their potential.
I have met many successful people with terrible memories of school. They were made to feel stupid, inept and eventually angry and resentful. Luckily anger has lots of inherent energy and they used it to fuel their future success.
The interesting thing is that behind all these failures who made good was a parent or mentor who really believed in them.
Just one person to believe in them made the difference!
If not for Einstein’s mother the scientific world would be so much poorer.
My take-away message is two-fold:
- To teachers- stop judging potential and treat EVERY child as potentially gifted. Look instead at your teaching methods.
- To parents- keep believing. Refuse to swallow the negative, bitter pills given to you. Let your child know you believe in them, provide a positive learning environment and let your child’s mind unfold!
So what if they fail the test, exam or forget the facts? There is a lot more to education than those things.
We believe EVERY child is smart and this is why I wrote a book of the same name.
Refuse to believe anything less.
Contact us on 61 8 92714200 to get a copy of the book. If you are in Singapore you can purchase it from www.september21.com.sg
Email me privately on firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any matters re your children you would like to discuss.