WE HAVE OUR DIFFERENCES

Some of you, who are reading this, might be parents. If you are, do you have more than one child? If you are not a parent, then think of two of your closest friends and answer these:
Are they different in behaviour?
What about mannerisms?
Choice of Food?
Maybe the choice of colours?
How about how they tackle problems?
Mornings! How are they first thing in the morning – grumpy or charged up?
Now do you think if you had more children say 8-10, by law of average would they have more commonalities?
Or perhaps even an average behavioural pattern. Would they?
Let me answer that for you – NO THEY WILL NOT. They are going to be as unique and individualistic as the other one – to say the least they will have THEIR DIFFERENCES. One will wake up enthusiastic in the morning ready to charge while the other will surface slowly– Two more minutes that will often extend to 10 minutes after the alarm goes off. One will understand the maths concept in one go and the other, well! This one might take longer than the PRESCRIBED TIME. They will have some similarities; after all, they do come from the same genetic pool. But do they have enough SIMILARITIES that you get confused between them? Unless of course they are identical twins. Even then, do they really?
Now let us apply this to a standard class size of 40 or in some expensive school to 20. Do you think these 20 students have a similar average pattern? They do not even come from the same genetic pool; there are not so many similarities. So to make things easy we find the average of the differential beings.
But there isn’t an average behaviour or an average understanding. Not really! Why then are we fixated to have average teaching, average standardised exams and to top it all AVERAGE STANDARDISED EXPECTATIONS?
Science has proven that there is no average person with an average brain or functionality. Yet we have built our education system around an average brain that functions and understands in an average standardised manner. We have divided the students, class sizes and even class duration with the same standardised thought process. We know and believe that – An attention span does not last beyond 45 minutes. My guess is, this was probably scientifically proven at some point of time by taking inputs and studies from thousands of students and then arriving at the average, mean, median etc of the collected information. Hence the class durations in a standardised class are prescribed as such.
But what if a student’s attention span is shorter? On the other hand, what if the student finds a class interesting and wants the class to be longer? Unfortunately the standardised system does not allow these DEVIATIONS, as they are often termed.
So what are we doing wrong? I would say a whole lot!
What can we do to make it right? I am not sure I have an answer to that.
Does getting an A grade in English tell you if your child is creative. Does it say if he is a team player or that he has leadership qualities? Not really. It is not a judgement parameter. All it tells you is that he did well on some questions that were posed at him on a certain day when he wanted to answer them. What about a day he did not feel like answering them?
You may understand some of the predicament of the school; they do have a procedure to follow. Ideally we should:-Teach a student in a manner that is best suited to them in an environment that optimises their ability to learn. For this a students would have to be seen as an individual and the school should teach a subject which is relevant in a manner that is unique to them.
Can it be done? Yes!
Will it be done? Most likely not.
Let us be fair to our schools. They are doing a lot, and I do mean that. Should I be grateful? Absolutely! Given the scenario, especially in India, where the demand and the supply is mismatched the school and the teachers are overburdened and underpaid. No matter which school set up you look at, this is a common thread that you will find. In these situations, given the rate of change of our dynamic world it would be a task to evolve with them.
My intention of writing this is not really to find faults in our standardised system of education (there are so many that I will reserve that discussion for another day). My intention is to help you realise that there are differences between your child and the educational institution. There could be a chance that your child has differences but can yet overcome them. He/she can in-fact cope up and understand at the pace that they are being taught and therefore probably secures grades which fall into the ACCEPTABLE ZONE (what is this, is another question I would like you to think about). But what if the differential score is larger than acceptable?
Allow yourself first to take a step back and just for a moment not blame your child. He/she is not “not studying intentionally”. It could be that he/she is not being taught in a manner is of interest -We have our differences. It could be one of the many other reasons that affect the academic performance: Mindset, Behaviour, Grit, Acceptance, Relevance, Belonging. All these are interlinked and together affect the academic performance All of these also affect a students in a different manner. It is importance to spot where this chain is perhaps broken or entwined. All it might take is some repairing, if you know where are how.
Each child is jagged. We all HAVE OUR DIFFERENCES and that is in-fact a good thing. Our life would be so boring if both our children were indeed identical. Imagine a world filled with identical. We would be living in identical houses reading the same book eating the same food. Actually think about it, we would not be reading anything, we would all have the same thoughts then what will be left to share? Our life is interesting because of our individuality. Do not kill it just for the sake of ease of CLASSIFICATION –Genius, Intelligent, Average, Below Average or Dumb!!

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