Tom was an intelligent and sensitive seventh-grader. He was a backbencher who could be called an Outsider. One day, his teacher told the class that his assignment was the best in the class. That day Tom came home and did his homework quietly and told his mom that school was fun.
How did this happen? The teacher who praised him gave him the reason to like school. Sometimes negative messages come out loud and clear and do more harm than can be imagined. E.g. during the rehearsal, the teacher said don’t sing sweetheart…. Just mouth the words. And this made the child clam up.
Teachers also send negative non-verbal signals. Eg. Handing back papers in the order of highest to lowest.
A young boy received his paper marked ‘You have a good handwriting”. Suddenly, he realized it was true. He went on to become a professional writer.
Children who have shortcomings around personality, background etc. are sometimes labelled by the teachers as ‘At Risk’. Teachers who believe that circumstances can change, help to build the self-esteem.
A cardinal rule of Medical practitioners says ‘first do no harm’. Is it possible for the teachers to deal with the situation and not the personality so no harm is done.
Instead of you are not getting it which gives the underlying message that you are not capable of getting it, teachers can just say, Have you looked at it in this way?
Rather than teaching the students to appear for the test can the teacher teach to bring in enjoyable learning?