I am not trained as a psychologist, but I often feel like I should have some training.
Today one lesson stalled when my student kept making mistakes then saying, “I’m an idiot. I’m stupid.”
We both know that this is not true.
He is an intelligent and talented boy, who perhaps has a bit too much on his plate.
But today’s lesson was not a good one, due to his attitude.
I have discovered over years of teaching, that the student’s attitude in the lesson may have nothing to do with me, but more to do with what else has happened during their day.
So today I asked my student if his day was bad prior to our lesson.
No. In this case things had gone downhill since I appeared in the playground.
Next step then is to work on the attitude.
Our minds are incredibly powerful. We have much more power than we realise, with our thoughts shaping our lives. Of course a child whose internal monologue is “I’m stupid, I’m hopeless” is not going to perform at the best of their ability.
Our beliefs and words are enormously powerful in shaping our destinies.
If we say “Bad things always happen to me, I’m such a mess,” then life tends to agree with us.
If we say the opposite, life can look very different.
I often say that I feel like a mind-reader.
If a student makes a mistake, I can generally tell that it has been preceded by them thinking to themselves “Oh no, here’s the bad bit,” or “I bet I’ll mess this up again.”
Which then happens.
I’m not sure if today’s student skipped back to class because he was delighted to be leaving me, or because he listened when I assured him that he is an able student and the only things stopping him achieving better results are his attitude and of course his commitment to practising regularly.