Tuesday, 22 December 2009

I think my child is not improving...

Misbehaving. Late for class. Disobedient. Talking back to teacher. Playing truant.

These are just some of the things a teacher faces in everyday teaching. But, none of these are as hurting as a simple sentence from a parent - "I think my child is not improving."

This is a story of a mum, a 3.5yr old boy and a coach.

One day. Mum brings boy to coach and say. "Can u teach my son? He's 3.5yr old this year."

Coach sees that boy's too young to learn, suggested to mum that she brings boy to play more often at the pool so that he will grow to like water.

Mum told coach that both mum and dad has water phobia, that's why never bring boy to swim before. Mum insisted to coach to teach him and says "I dun need him to learn how to swim. So long he's water confident, that's more important."

Coach hesitated but eventually accepted boy.

Boy was really afraid of water. He will scream, shout, pinch, scratch and grab coach. Coach didn't give up on him and in 3 months time, boy grew to like water and was able to submerge in water.

At this point of time, Mum came and say to coach. "I think my child is not improving." After saying this, both mum and boy disappeared for 6mths.

6mths later, miraclely, Mum and boy appeared again. Mum once again asked coach to teach boy. After 6mths, boy forgets everything and coach has to reteach everything again. Coach did not give up and suggest to mum to bring boy for extra lesson.

3mths pass again. Boy is now able to float, breath underwater, do breast stroke kicking, breast stroke arm pull. Coach is very happy because boy is showing results.

At this point of time, Mum came and say to coach. "I think my child is not improving."

Yes. You guess it. I'm the coach. When that mum says that to me recently, I felt so hurt. I dunnoe why I felt that way but, it feels so hurtful. I've put in so much efforts into coaching her son but all I get is a simple "I think my child is not improving."

That feeling is as though, You put in so much effort into cooking and preparing a nice dinner for your love one and when he comes home, without even tasting the food, tell you straight. The dinner is not nice.

Or, you put in so much time and effort into your presentation & speech. But after 10sec of presenting, your boss says. No. Your presentation is no good.

You get the kind of hurtful feeling? I admit I might not be the best possible coach you can find.

But I believe I'm definitely one of the most dedicated coaches you can ever find. I dare to say that I place in my everything into every single student under my wing. My heart, my soul, my effort, my time, my commitment, my love & my passion.

If I didn't put in so much effort, I shouldn't be feeling so hurt right? No wonder they say, Passion & career dun go well with each other. When your passion becomes a career, that passion will die off... I guess, words like these are a killer to passion.

I'm hurt by those words that's for sure. (After all, I placed in so much efforts) But that wun stop me from continuing to teach boy. And just when I needed a motivation, it just came out of nowhere. =)

I was reading Mitch Albom "Have a little faith" and in it, there's this story that motivates me so much. Here's the story.

There's this salesman, see? And he knocks on a door. The man who answers says, 'I don't need anything today.'

The next day, the salesman returns.
"Stay away!" He is told.

The next day, the salesman is back.
"The man yells, 'You again! I warned you!' He gets so angry, he spits in the salesman's face.

"The salesman smiles, wipes the spit with a handkerchief, then looks to the sky and says, 'must be raining'"

I like the attitude of that salesman.. No matter what kind of negative feedback you receive, you should always think positively. Or perhaps, sometimes, a little bit of stubbornness is all you need.

Hmmm.. No wonder most teachers are so determined and yet stubborn @ times. =p


Anonymous said...

Don't be dishearted... This is just what the mummy chooses to see and believe.. she could have totally forgotten that her son was once phobia of water...

There are many other kids who look forward and benefit from your classes... Take my son for an instance, he enjoys your coaching so much that he can forgo his x'mas party and sleep early for the next day's lesson... but too bad he can't attend due to fever on sat.. he even cried...

I told him, don't worry baby... I'll let you swim with Teacher Jerry for a long long long time, OK?

That was when he gave me the nicest smile!

Cheers Teacher!

Anonymous said...

I think, when the mother said "i think my child is not improving.." the 2nd time, you should really give her a super big smile, becoz when she said that, she will be back for the 3rd time.
Why? Think abt it, if the child really not improving at the beginning, do you think she bother to bring him back again, just to say the same statement 2nd time. ...??

Jerry Toh said...

-> Anonymous #1 & #2.. Thank you for ur encouragement! Thank you! I think I know who is Anonymous #1.Hee...

Anonymous #2, Thank u for ur encouragment! I appreciate it alot! Hee... You 2 remind me of B1,B2. Banana in Pyjamas. =p