When I was in school, college or university I felt a great lack of support from teachers. I excelled only in that subject where the teacher encouraged me. After her words of appreciation, I felt kind off forced to fulfill her expectations.
I do not know how other students felt that kick to move forward but in my case, it was always a teacher’s attention towards me.
Now that I have my own kids I am always paranoid about whether their teachers encourage them at school or not. This paranoia even made me question the teacher as well and all she said was, “We have this much number of students and we cannot go to each and every student and appreciate him like you want. And if we do that to your kid; it would be unjust to others”
While in my ninth grade we had a physics teacher and thanks to her I ended up hating this subject. All she did in the class was read out theory to us and solve numericals on board without making sure if any of us was having a problem. Luckily she had to leave and we got a new teacher, a miracle worker. Her words still echo in my mind; “I would not be satisfied when already high performing students score highest but when I persuade backbenchers to take the front rows and perform well” and that she did. I and a number of other students started liking the subjects but sadly she had to leave too.
My point in narrating this tale is to convince teachers to make sure all of their students and especially those on the lookout to avoid lectures tend to fall in love with the subject. We hate what we do not understand and I believe sometimes we do not have an aptitude for certain subjects but in most of the cases, its teacher’s responsibility to work on the students.
Same goes for confidence building in kids at lower levels. Fears infiltrated into the minds of young ones stay with them for life. I understand we are born with a certain genetic makeup which determines how we cope with different life situations but there is a lot we learn from the environment and that is where parents and teachers play a great role.
Recently sports gala was conducted at my son’s school and I being a paranoid mother called his teacher to inquire if he is taking part in any activity. She casually told me that after certain practice sessions, quarter-final and semi-final, good runners are chosen for the final day. Alright so again only the cream will get the chance to become the topping and what about the rest? Kids are so young and I do not think they need to be told so bluntly about where they lack. It’s like telling them at a very young age that they are losers. A number of them accept defeat at this age and stop trying in the future. I say this because I was one of them and I don’t want the same to happen to my child.
I have a few suggestions that may be considered.
- Teachers should study all the kids in the class and make out who lacks what.
- Accordingly, activities should be conducted. Those having problem in speech should be made to stand before the whole class and deliver something to overcome their fear. Gradually this should be taken to another level by making the kid deliver a speech before the whole school etc at assembly time.
- Teachers should try to accommodate all students in co-curricular activities. Every student should at least be a part of at least one activity and by that I mean he should either be in dramatics, debating society, school’s baseball, basketball team, a teacher’s assistant, just anything where he is able to boost his confidence and face different people and therefore socialize.
- After lecture teacher should ask questions from the lecture only from those who think are not getting the point.( back in my school days teacher would say” aa gai samaj and a selected few would say “yea” and then she would move on)
- Parents should stay in touch with the teachers and consult about their child’s progress every now and then.
- Bullying is a very serious problem and those guilty of it should be strictly managed and after warnings be rusticated.
I am not a teacher or a psychologist; only a mother who does not want her son to face the same trials she faced in her school. I may be wrong at certain levels but I think if we have to raise a generation of only winners and not winners and losers we will have to think and do some things out of the box.
If you want to know Hafsa’s experience of becoming a mom, check out How I Got My Sunshine Through A C-Section