The article is about guiding children with poor grades to exceptional performance using a real- life case study.
It was the year 2000.I was teaching in a college.I was contracted to teach some children on private basis.After negotiating with the parents,the mother inquired in passing if I will be interested in teaching her nephew,the oldest and the dullest student in his class.The way she talked about the boy gave me an insight to the boy’s problem and I decided to take up the challenge.
The first day I met Lewis(not real name),I told him to forget what his parents,teachers and friends have said about his abilities.I made him realize that he was born brilliant ,sharp and successful.Before teaching him anything academic,I encouraged him with motivational and inspiring words.
Before I met him,Lewis was simply”beyond redemption”,failing almost all his papers.Weeks after taking him up,I had the satisfaction of hearing the principal of the school saying in the staff room that “Lewis is now passing his papers”.
The incidence confirmed what I had always known-most children are born brilliant.Apart from birth defects,the main causes of dullness in children are environmental ones.A well-fed child will do better in class than a malnourished one.A child from a broken /unstable home may have difficulties in academics compared to one raised in a stable one.Parental response when a child fails can result in a complex in the child.This was the case with Lewis above.He failed woefully once and everybody called him a failure.With time,he got used to the label and accepted it.From that point,he started his downward roll.
Parents need to be careful how they react when their children fail in an endeavour.Such children need lots of love,encouragement and assurance.They should be told that failing does not make them a failure.It is an event which they should put behind them and reach for the success ahead.
Even when parents are frustrated by the grades of their children,they should do their best not to over-react.Let the children know that they have disappointed their guardians but most importantly,let them know that there is a sleeping giant in them waiting to be awakened.