Don't write people off - least of all yourself

Last Update: October 04, 2020

Many of you know that I now work as a teacher in a small independent school in the UK which caters for students who have been out of school for some time for a variety of reasons including anxiety, PTSD, learning difficulties and stress. Some of our students come to us having missed 2+ years of traditional education or have patchy attendance which has affected their progress. As such, many of them have poor self-esteem, and have been metaphorically 'written-off' by some of their previous educational establishments as ineducable or lacking motivation. One such student was told that he would be lucky to get a volunteer gardening post!!


Last Friday I attended our graduation for the students who graduated from our school in 2020. The graduation was delayed from the summer due to coronavirus restrictions but it was lovely to have all the student's final exam results to celebrate with them instead.

All the student's did really well in their exams this year, which, instead of sitting in the usual way, were assessed by their teachers, supported by a mock paper and we also had to send in 2 pieces of marked work which was at the level that the teachers had judged them to be at.

What was brilliant for our students in this situation, was that many of our student's have access arrangements in place due to their learning needs, but this year's system allowed them to be assessed on their true abilities rather than a snapshot of a stressful 2-hour exam.

Well, here's one in the eye for everyone who writes off other people in negative ways. Our students this year graduated with A*s, As, Bs and double distinctions! And all are continuing with tertiary education in some form.

What was also amazing was that many of our student's had been told early on in their academic careers that they would not amount to much, and that they should tailor their goals and aspirations accordingly. And the student who was told he would struggle to find a volunteer gardening placement is currently now at university studying osteopathy.

So NEVER write people off - especially if you don't really understand their difficulties or their journey. It's only a case of finding what they are good at and supporting them with that, and then they will shine.

Of course, this piece of advice can also be aimed at ourselves. Many of us write ourselves off as 'useless' or 'not worthy' or just 'not good enough', often before we have even started.

Many of us tell ourselves negative things on a daily basis, or reinforce negativity we hear about ourselves from others.

So stop it!!

If you are struggling to find out what it is you are good at, have faith. Look to the things that interest you and follow your heart and your passion, for that is where your bliss and your confidence will be found.

Remember that mistakes are part of the learning process and determination and commitment are often better indicators of success than sheer talent alone. Everyone is different, and everyone's difference is of value.

Each and every one of us is a unique and amazing individual with talents and insights to share with the world. So give yourself (and others) a pat on the back, a compliment and a kind word today, then allow yourself to be the shining light that I know you all are.

Happy Sunday all

Gail

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JerryMcCoy Premium
Gail,
It was good to read your post today. I have missed all the positive influence you have had on each of us. You gave such a glowing account of how the students did where you teach, it was refreshing. Finding that one thing for one to excell is difficult but I know you went the extra distance with you students and helped them find what they were good at. You are as big an influence in the schoolroom at you are at WA.
Best to you,
Jerry
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GailLowe Premium
Ah Jerry, that's really lovely of you to say and I really appreciate it. Thank you.
Wishing you a great weekend.
Gail
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PMindra Premium
"So stop it!!
If you are struggling to find out what it is you are good at, have faith. Look to the things that interest you and follow your heart and your passion, for that is where your bliss and your confidence will be found."

Hi, Gail.
Paul Mindra here from Canada.

Your posts here at WA are awesome and always well received.

What is happening within the 'teaching field' during this new time.

Here in Ontario, Canada an attempt was made to reopen all of the teaching facilities. It has not proven to be a success at this point in time.

More and more are opting for e-learning.

I'm not sure if you are aware of Salman Khan and Khan Academy.

I at sixty years plus still go there on a regular basis when I want to understand basic learning on a review basis.

What you do is completely commendable.

Keep up the great work and as always remain safe and awesome.

Kindest regards from canada.

Paul.
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GailLowe Premium
Hi Paul

Good to hear from you and I appreciate your very kind comments. In our school, which is a small independent school for children with EHCPs, we have remained open again since 1st June. The thinking is that our children are in danger of severely impacting their mental health if the school remained closed as many of them have had poor experiences in schools in the past, and we try to help them get back into education. It's been tough, but I really do think that for them, the impact of staying in lockdown would be much worse.
Elsewhere schools have put children into year group bubbles mostly, and have rearranged timetables to keep these apart from one another. My own children are still attending school, and for them, it's much better than the alternative of trying to do online learning. That is difficult because of the lack of technology and internet with some students. Our house does not have 3 computers for example, and we are relatively well off, but we do our best.

Thanks for your kind wishes too. Coming right back to you.

Gail
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PMindra Premium
You are making a lot of sense, Gail.
Onward and upward.

Be safe, and keep all of your children safe. Teach them well and encourage love and unity.

Kindest regards from Canada.

Paul.
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Debbi26 Premium
"Each and every one of us is a unique and amazing individual with talents and insights to share with the world. So give yourself (and others) a pat on the back, a compliment and a kind word today, then allow yourself to be the shining light that I know you all are."

VERY well said!!!!! We are each unique and here for a reason.

~Debbi
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GailLowe Premium
Hi Debbi

Glad you like. What a different world we would live in if we could all take that advice, even just a little, eh?!
Take care

Gail
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remapot3 Premium Plus
Hi Gail,
Thanks for your advise and the valuable Artcle. Take care and be safe.
Sham
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GailLowe Premium
Hi Sham
Hope you're well and thanks for your comments.
Gail
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remapot3 Premium Plus
Yes Gail,
Trying my best to be good. Take care.
Sham
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JeffreyBrown Premium
Very inspiring words, Gail!

Jeff
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GailLowe Premium
Hi Jeff.
Glad you like them. I always try to inspire people to become the best they can be. And we can all improve a little bit each day.
:) Gail
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JeffreyBrown Premium
You bet, Gail! Keep them coming!

Jeff
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