As a child I was not the brightest kid in the class. As in all classes there were kids with different levels of intelligence and aptitude for different things. When I was learning something new, which I might find a little bit boring or uninteresting, as a child I would tend to drift away.
Education should be an enjoyable process. When you enjoy something it is fun, but every education has aspects that are not as easy to absorb. Sometimes it flows, it is easy to learn and sometimes it is not so easy. I have seen so many people reach a point in their education when something becomes difficult for them, it is like it becomes a very big thing for them and they lose focus.
When I see someone struggling, as they struggle their attitude becomes obsessive, they focus on results instead of the actual learning. They become blocked and lose their way. I have seen this happen so many times. I have met people that have this amazing ability to learn, but many of them have given up, because they do not feel they are as good as the others in the class.
Another thing that can block your learning process is to create a deadline for yourself. You make demands on yourself and when you cannot meet your own schedule you give up. Untold people fall into this trap.
Results of an exam does not always determine someone’s intelligence. I have met people that did not receive great marks in school, but that have really been successful and gone out in the world and made their mark.
I say to my students, it is not a competition with everybody else. It is about you competing with yourself. When I am teaching I look for the persons natural ability. If I begin to see signs of that I introduce it to them slowly, a little piece at a time.
How many of you have given up, because you do not understand something right away? I had a maths teacher who would illustrate things on the board, tell us to read a few pages in a book and then think we had learnt it. She compared her mind, with all the knowledge she possessed, to the children in the classroom. I was okay at maths, but I certainly did not have aptitude for it.
It is important for a teacher to see what progress the students are making with their learning ability and it is essential to point out to a student, if they do not get things right the first time, that it is okay. Sometimes I can see that a student is struggling and does not really understand, but is too afraid to admit it. If you are going to help a student you cannot demand that they will get everything right straight away. They need to learn to begin to trust themselves.
For me as a teacher it is important to see the students where they really are and when I communicate with them I find ways to help them break the deadlock they have within themselves and make the learning fun.
Some people learn quicker than others, but it does not mean they are more intelligent. It is important not trying to keep up with the results of the class. Remember, you only compete with yourself.
Whatever you are learning or studying do not make unnecessary demands on yourself. Then all the joy of learning will disappear.