A Note from the Teacher
Today I received a note from my son’s teacher asking me to meet her after his class. I have met her before and I know my son has his struggles but there is a point up to which I can push him and beyond that I am afraid and even helpless.
So I waited the entire morning, contemplating and trying to think of solutions to imaginary problems that she was going to bombard me with. The anger in me was also rising because expecting a five-year-old to be a genius in order to meet the school statistics made my blood boil even more.
A common phrase in the English language is that not all five fingers of a hand are the same, so each child will have their limitations. I am an average performer at work and was an average student. I accept the same and have no qualms about not wanting to excel in all that I do. In fact, I don’t remember a single time that my parents put pressure on my sister and me to excel. They always believed in giving everything we did our best. Life doesn’t end on a percentage was how I was brought up.
While my mind struggled with all these thoughts, I realized it was time to meet the teacher. The wait outside the class was nerve-wracking. She sat me down and started to talk.
And this is what she had to say: “I would like to appreciate the effort that you have been making towards your child. There has been a lot of improvement so please continue what you have been doing. Since I always call you to let you know about your child’s weakness, I thought I should call you to also let you know what an improvement he has shown.”
The sense of relief I felt flowed out in my tears. She did give me one or two areas which were still a concern so I did note them down and I thanked her for her efforts and rushed home to hug my son.
As I sat with my son while he munched on his evening snack, I asked him whether he knew what the teacher had told me. With the confidence of a teenager (he is actually 5 years) he said, “Teacher must have said I am doing good.” And at that moment I realized that we should never underestimate our kids. The encouraging words of the teacher motivated me to continue to make his playtime more interesting. I guess this was a small victory and ahead lay a full-fledged battleground of academia but nonetheless the victory was sweet and the joy immeasurable. I know in the past I haven’t been very appreciative of my son’s teachers and accepted their feedback with a pinch of salt. So I would like to appreciate all the teachers that surround us, not only in school or colleges but all around us. They could be your mentors, your parents or even your next door neighbor. It is because of them that you walk in a civilized world.
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