An eight year old made my day yesterday! I am a private tutor and one of my students turns to me twenty minutes into a session and declares “You are a really great tutor, you are so good, I’m going to come here next year too” .
I was, of course, delighted about the compliment, who wouldn’t be? But it was deeper than that. I was so proud that I had taught this young boy that there were different ways to learn the same thing and that HE was capable of learning. He felt like he “got it”
I see the face of discouragement and defeat in too many of the students who come to me for one-on-one assistance. My biggest challenge is making children with low self-esteem feel some measure of success. Often, this doesn’t necessarily mean, doing exactly what classmates are doing, it means making progress and solving problems on their own. Pushing for a child to meet their full potential is important but educators and parents need to be sure every child feels successful. Nobody deserves to feel like a failure on a daily basis.
I’m happy this little guy said I was a great tutor, but I am much happier that he felt good about himself.
“I never teach my pupils, I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn”
As a parent and an educator, I always tried to look for opportunities to make my children (and students) feel a sense of accomplishment. I would give them chores or responsibilities around the house, trust them to pack their own backpack or dry the dishes. I would adjust the homework or allow some special aids to complete assignments. I always felt/hoped these little things would go a long way on the road to better self-esteem.