Be Their Champion | Act Youth Force
This series is in collaboration with Act Youth Force (Visit AYF) where we focusing on the write ups by different students write inspiring stuff. Read the first part here | second part here | third part here | fourth | fifth | sixth
Rita Pierson, a teacher for 40 years, once heard a colleague say, “They don’t pay me to like the kids.” Her response: “Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.'”
Education, study, syllabus, grades. These are the terms we are all familiar with. We understand the “impact” these words would have on our children, our youth. We have all the knowledge about what would help them score the grades that would brighten their future and about what would cause them to lose all those grades i.e. absences, carelessness, and less interest in studies. However, have we ever wondered what really is the matter behind the lesser interest and the rebellious behavior of our youth especially towards learning? We can have all the causes and reasons behind the supposed “failure” of the children but do we ever consider that there might be something lacking in terms of “our” behavior towards them? The answer is a simple and resounding, NO.
The first and the foremost key-element of any scenario is the value and importance of ‘relationships’. The human connection which we dismiss with complete disregard for empathy. Do we ever consider the impact of emotionless and non-understanding behavior towards our children whether socially or in terms of educational endeavors? Do we ever stop to ponder for one moment what kind of effect our conduct towards children could possibly be? Some of us think that just going to a class, teaching the children, and giving them tasks is the only responsibility of a teacher without even realizing that children do not learn just by being told to. They do not understand just because they are required to. As Dr. Steven Covey so aptly said, “(We should be) seeking first to understand as opposed to being understood.” If we do not try to understand the minds of our children, how do we expect them to understand ours? It’s all about communication and effective interaction between the trainer and the trainee.
Build a relationship with your children (whether you are parents or teachers). Make effort to get to know them. Try to look at things from their point of view. Do not just try to teach them to learn. Learn WITH them. Grow with them. Break our society’s norm of ‘existing in the restraints of an elder-younger dynamic’. Reach out to the youth while releasing them from the expectations of doing good to get “good grades”, rather motivate them to do better for “them”. You cannot force an artist to learn science but you can make him/her understand it through an artistic approach, and trust in the process that it would make him/her more interested and willing to learn science as opposed to when the individual was just required to do so for the sake of good grades and not for personal interest and satisfaction. Obviously, a teacher cannot reach every student on the same level during one lesson, but implementing a variety of learning styles throughout the course allows that all the students will have the chance to learn in at least one way that matches their learning style.
You can make a difference in their lives. You can make them feel worth something. You can make them blossom if you just try to understand them instead of admonishing them. Teaching and learning should bring joy. Can you imagine how powerful our world would be if our kids stopped being afraid to take risks, stopped being afraid to think, stopped being afraid to be ‘themselves’, and how powerful our society would be if every child of ours had a champion? Every single child in an institute or out of it deserves a mentor, a Champion. Somebody who would never give up on them. Who would know the power of connection and the value of building a relationship. Who would stand by them and insist for them on becoming the best version that they can possibly be. Would this be difficult to bring about such a change? You bet it would be, but not impossible. It is NEVER impossible because we can do this. Human, by the very nature, is a striver for betterment. So why not in this regard? We can be Champions. Each and every one of us. All we need is to ‘understand’ and ‘connect’!
Written by: Sana Khalid | Cover photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash