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The Power of Encouragement

When I was younger, my father was my supporter. He supported whatever I did. I was good at baking cakes, but I had never tried to make the icing. Once, I tried but failed, it was too sweet and it did not even look like icing. But my father ate it and said it is a success. Though I never make icing ever since, I still remember my father’s encouragement.

No matter which type of students I encounter, I give them encouragement as and when necessary. There are positive results. For good students, after getting encouragement, they become better. For not-so-good students, after getting encouragement, they try to be better. Of course, there are some who need time because parents have been giving them negative comments and they have lost their confidence.

There is one student whom I would like to mention here. When I first saw him, he was hyperactive, not listening to me after around half an hour. I tried almost everything, flash cards, stories, mobile games, etc. Whenever I gave him a new thing to try, he was interested for the first five minutes and then started his ‘dreaming’ again. Even the white board that he likes so much, he only writes and draws for around ten minutes. Then I have to find something else to get his attention.

Nonetheless, I keep giving him encouragement, when he has done something right. At the fifth session with him, he tried an exercise and he requested to mark his own answers. After making sure that his answers were correct, I let him mark the answers. After marking, he drew a square and wrote 5/5 (it means 5 questions out of 5 questions are correct). He has done a few pages of exercises that day, a success to me because I have been trying to get him to do more than three pages of exercises, but failed. He asked me whether the number of questions is correct (he is P1, just learning to count). If it was correct, I let him go ahead to put in the numbers in the square. If it was wrong, I taught him how to count the questions.

I will keep giving encouragement, after seeing so many encouraging results. I hope parents will give encouragement to their children too. Encouragement will open up more possibilities.

A Teacher with a Blue Highlight on Her Hair!

I saw this girl on a TV programme, which the interview was focusing on her father, a hawker stall owner. She has blue highlight on her hair, and her occupation is teacher. Maybe she is an arts teacher, I do not know. But I feel that there is something not right about the hair.

I have nothing against teachers having highlight. It is a personal choice whether you want to have highlight on your hair or not. I am just wondering, if you are a parent, and the tutor you have just hired has obvious highlight on his / her hair, would you continue to engage him / her as your child’s tutor?

Maybe I am the conservative type. I have always wanted a highlight on my hair, especially during festive seasons when other people are  changing a new image by changing hair styles. But, the first thing that comes into my mind is the reaction of parents and students that I am teaching. Because of that, I have been delaying the plan to change my hair style.

Parents, may I have your opinion?