Monday, March 31, 2008

Slow Learner is NOT Stupid

Today when i was in the paediatric clinic, suddenly there were 5 children brought in, referred for "learning difficulty", and to see whether there's need to send them to special schools. Kids were brought by their headmaster, and according to him, these are the "problematic learners" in class.

One of the kids was seen by me, a 11 year-old boy, who's picked by his headmaster because he always ranked the last in class. I spent long time chatting with him, and really surprisingly, I found that there's absolutely nothing wrong with him. He speaks at acceptable speed, a little bit shy, but with good eye contacts. I tested him on maths, vocab and comprehension, with increasing level of difficulty, he did fairly well, and in fact he seems so motivated with my encouragement. He admitted to me that he's merely lack of interest in studying, but instead, he loves sports and he's got gold medal in school sport games.

But apparently his headmaster failed to appreciate it.
After the long conversation, i wonder how sad it is if this, a perfectly mentally well child, is to be labelled "problematic kid" and what's worse, need to be sent for medical assessment?

They're just slow learners, does not mean they're stupid in anyway. A good result in school does NOT guarantee a successful future, but parents/teachers just always fail to appreciate this fact. A child that ain't like to study, might have great potential in other fields!
Let me share some true stories, few years after graduated from high school, i saw my friend's name on the paper. He used to be the top student in class, but that news was about "10,000 uni graduates are currently jobless in the country". On the other hand, i heard from my friend that, two of the students (the so-called problematic ones who're always deemed hopeless by all teachers), one is now a financial consultant in US Wall Streets; one is a well-known artiste who's featured in TIME magazine sometimes ago.

And these are just some of the many, many examples.
Remember, people can look at you in anyway they like, but how you look at yourself always matters the most!


Coral Lean said...

I agree with you, darren.. It's been quite frustrating to send this kind of msg across.

mich said...

pity those kids..
its actually based on the person who teach them whether they have the passions to do so..
they cant give up their students easily..its unfair for them..nobody was born to be smart..

Darren said...

Well said mich. And tat's why, i highly respect those teachers who treat all students fairly and never give up on them!

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