Nelly was a school counselor who was very passionate about her job.
For Nelly, her job description was simple. To bring out the best in every child under her care and make them the best version of themselves. As she set out to achieve this, she had heard several suggestions. Some made sense, while some were just clearly the opposite. She had heard
“Encourage them to play sports, it improves coordination”
“Teach them to memorize their times tables, it’d make their brains sharper.”
The ICT instructor suggested “encourage them to give coding a shot, it’d help their creativity”
Though she had listened with keen interest, she knew that the implementation depended on each child’s unique abilities. What works for A might not necessarily work for B. From what she learnt from her own years of experience, here are some tips she gave to educators;
Teach the kids to understand themselves
This applies to every human being. For anyone to truly realise their potential, they have to first understand themselves. They have to be masters at self-awareness, they have to be able to identify what they are good at, not-so-good at and what they can do exceptionally well.
Focus on excellence rather than perfection
In our quest to help our wards realise their potential, we push them too hard. We overburden them with tasks which may sometimes be even above their levels. This might prove detrimental in that the child no longer enjoys the journey, and begins to resent those who do better than them even if they were excellent themselves. This also brings about failure-phobia.
Teach them some self discipline
Before you begin to preach them down to their ankles, first be disciplined yourself. Lead by example. It’s easier for a child to listen to you if they are inspired by you in the first place. And for any child to really make it big, they have to be truly self-disciplined. To do the right thing at the right time whether they felt like it or not.
Teach them that luck is overestimated
Though we cannot counter the fact that “luck” exists, but we might be overestimating what luck actually is. A wise man said “Luck is an opportunity which meets you already prepared for it.”. Those who are considered lucky, might have put in some kind of effort even if we may not necessarily see it. So, teach the kids to keep working hard, so that an opportunity that knocks will meet them prepared.
In the long run, potential must not be an endpoint but a continuous thirst for learning and growth. It’s about creating a life that is meaningful, a life of purpose and fulfilment, a life that allows you to improve the world using what you can do best. Let them enjoy the journey, and use their talents to truly make a positive difference.
What other tips do you think can help unlock a child’s potential. Tell us in the comments section. We’d love to learn from you!