On the internet, unexpectedly, I stepped into a snappy argument over the impact of “rewarding points” and “upgrading levels” for learning - the presence of a cheer squad.
One said it is so childish. “Why can’t you involve in real teaching stuff instead of playing around with a cheering squad of cartoon characters and their comments. Another told how engaged s/he was in learning with the competition.
How was it for me?
When I was in primary school, I was “considered” a fast learner. My parents were teachers. My mother taught me mathematics, English, basic science, sawing, actually everything excluding cooking. (She was a terrible cook) My father’s presentation of stories and verses were singing visuals in my ears.
I read a lot. Mum never forgot to buy me a book every month. Anything wanted to get clarified at any time because they were there. We lived in the school principal's quarters so, I had access to the library at any time, a Kind of celebrity life for a studious child. I received everyone’s attention.
By the age of nine, I have been double promoted, passed a scholarship and was sitting with grade six students in a secondary school. (Kind of standing ovation from the cheer squad).
Suddenly, the scenario has changed. I had to travel some considerable distance to school. Therefore, I was sent to my grandfather’s. There was only my grandfather – a farmer and my grandmother – a housewife. Some of my father's relatives lived around. For them, I was just another child in the neighbourhood. No one was there to look after me, I lived like a thrown out seed.
It became a self-study session. I read every book I put my hands on. My grades became lower, but somehow I survived as a promising student. No one was there to cheer me up.
It was a negative environment: Nobody seemed to care about learning. No one appreciated my achievements. Neighbours switched off running educational TV programs in my presence, hid extra readings of their children (same age as me) and let them bad-mouth about me. A complete opposite of a cheering squad. (Things were not good but, I didn’t feel any difference. That is the purity of a child’s mind). I have passed my secondary education well (but not with flying colours).
Then came the worst period of my life. During the tertiary education, which led to the university entrance, no one was there to turn to.
As usual, I was self-studying.
One day, I came across a symbol ± in the Chemistry book. Like “With ±1ºC to the boiling point” - something heavier than that. (Now, don't laugh at me. There was no internet for us at that time) I went around asking everyone the meaning of that symbol. No one knew. The print also was not this clear. My uncle (a school principal) told me that “it is this symbol one point centigrade to the boiling point” and winked at his wife.
My self-studying ended like that, and I fell so far below at my first attempt, even failed the exam.
I was not able to show my talents as my parents wish, until very late.
Thus, you can see, for some, a cheer squad (a supporting group) is essential.
By the time my parents understood that it was too late.
There's another lesson from this.
Whenever you seek a change in your life, or for your children, or in your organization, check whether that change provides for factors to support your final goal. Consider what the Major factors are. My parents have focused on my travelling but, it was a minor aspect of my concern.
It was a lesson learned, shared for the sake of some other child.
I wish no one gets such bitter lessons in life!
1 : Change fertilizes in a healthy environment
2 : Think twice before change
3 : Avoid being a victim of your changeCategory: Change / Subcategory: Change for the betterment
Tags: change, positive factors, environment after change, victim of the change, cheer group, encouragement, child's mind
Amelia, I get this. This is at least one thing my ex wife and I agree on when it comes to our son. Every time he gets a new teacher, we interview the teacher to get to know their teaching philosophy. We want to make sure he or she is a supportive teacher and is not a bully or someone who is berating.
Adaego M. Azi
Amelia—as a grownup, this is the same problem I have when I take online courses. I feel like you are left with no support and you have to motivate yourself. I think even adults need a cheer squad. Amelia, your childhood was filled with adventure. You were so focused on learning. Maybe that is why you like to write.
Amelia--a happy then sort of a sad story to your upbringing. So sorry to hear that, but it looks like you turned out okay. You are right about think twice before change--some of us just jump in without thinking about consequences. We do not have any kids yet, but I will be all about being a cheer squad for my child.
Amelia, I am sure you know that I am a teacher. Today people think kids are spoiled and will turn out to be spoiled adults because even if they do not deserve it, they are continually applauded and given praise for just participating. I even hear this from some parents. Perhaps some parents go overboard with praising their kids for everything, but kids still need a cheer squad, especially when they are really young--I am in.