Do you think any person on this Earth can be ‘hopeless’?
Do you think anyone has the right to tell you that you’re ‘hopeless’?
Is it right to tell 4 year-old kids that they are ‘hopeless’?
I was amazed to hear Shreya (name changed), a friend of Anu and Lil Love, utter the word ‘Hopeless’ repeatedly while playing Teacher Teacher.
The first time I heard, I didn’t bother much. The second time I heard it, I ignored it as I was rushing to pick up the clothes from the roof-top coz it started raining heavily.
The third time I heard ‘Hopeless’, I couldn’t resist. I went up to her Mom and told her what Shreya was repeating. She too was shocked. I understood that the poor child hasn’t picked it up from home. We then inquired with her as to who taught her this word.
To our shock, we realized that she has picked it up from a teacher in her school.
Her mother would be going to the school tomorrow itself.
Imagine, a teacher who has a strange longing for this particular word, so much that she repeats it so often that just days into the school, a fresher child learns the word. The class must be having at least 20-25 children. And what is she teaching them….that they’re hopeless? Crazy it is!
We all know that not all of us are blessed with all kinds of talent. Someone’s good at something and someone else is good at something else. Someone’s extremely poor with some thing and someone is so very creative with that work.
Doesn’t it work for the kids too?
I can understand that it is very very very difficult, really tough, to handle kids and that too freshers aged between 3 and 4. Some of them will be crying whole day long because they still haven’t settled down into the school routine, some will be so very naughty that you feel like running away and some might be the pranksters spoiling the entire show. But with all this too, does it give any human being on Earth to address them as ‘Hopeless’? Sorry, I don’t agree to this.
Children are like blooming buds. Pour in good amount of water, give it necessary amount of nutrients, pluck a few leaves that are decaying, and they’ll bloom into beautiful flowers that delights your eyes, fills your surroundings with its fragrance and they add a magical ambiance to the whole world. Similarly a child will only blossom if he/she receives good education, creative feedback which helps him/her to improve further, a scolding or two when it is necessary. But of course, negativity passed on will only result in negative results.
Priya was a normal child and was good at studies too. She scored an A+, an A or a B+ in all the subjects, except Mathematics, where she would hardly score a C- or a D. It went on from standard 3 through standard 7. Slowly, she had started scoring lower grades in the other subjects too.
The reason, her Mathematics teacher, Ms. Ann.
Ms. Ann was a colleague of Priya’s mother, who was a Science teacher in the same school. Ms. Ann’s daughter too was in Priya’s class. Competition as is human tendency would not let Ms. Ann accept that Priya was as good as her own daughter. She would put a cross in all the correctly solved sums, tear the pages of her notebook, make her repeat problems for no reason and insult her in front of other kids. Ms. Ann kept repeating to Priya that she was useless and good for nothing. For five consecutive years, Priya had to go through this repeated insult and humiliation. She couldn’t complain to anyone except her own mother, who was such a peace-lover that she asked her to ignore. She might have done that knowing Ms. Ann’s competitive attitude, but the mistake she made was, she didn’t do anything else to boost Priya’s self-confidence. She was slowly loosing herself.
Ignorance is Bliss, but playing ignorant isn’t bliss at all.
Priya’s confidence in herself was being shattered day in and day out. She started loosing interest in even those subjects that she was good at.
Thanks to the tuition teacher her mother found for her in class 9th, who re-instilled confidence in Priya. She gave her extra time, gave her regular feedback on her performance, made her understand her strengths and weaknesses, taught her ways to improve her speed, logic and reasoning. From scoring a 46 out of 100 in class 8th final exams, Priya scored a 98 out of 100 in her 9th finals.
It was sheer luck that made Priya meet Ms. Murthy, who was such a wonderful human being and went that extra mile to help Priya. It is not necessary that every child goes through a similar situation and it is not necessary that every victimized child gets a Ms. Murthy for pulling her out of the darkness.
Priya now is a Software Engineer and makes it a point to meet Ms. Murthy whenever she travels back into India.
Here’s a beautiful portion from the best movie on child development, Tare Zameen Par by Aamir Khan…I have lost count of the number of times I have watched it. And trust me, every time I watch it I have cried for sure….out of sorrow, pride and happiness.
Help every child in whatever way you can.
The most convenient and economical way is to pass on a sweet smile every time you meet a child. 🙂 🙂 🙂
Try and boost their self-confidence in the smallest way possible.
Encourage them with whatever they are good at.
Motivate them to improve in areas they are lagging behind.
But never ever make them feel useless and good for nothing.
And never ever address anyone as “Hopeless”.