Of students, teachers, etc etc…

Students are very much like pressure cookers – they open the lid and let people put stuff into them. And then, they apply pressure (or rather, ‘they’ are pressured) in order to cook the stuff in a relatively short timeframe. On the other hand,there are students who are similar to slow cookers; they take longer time to cook, but the end result is worth the wait. The effort. The energy and time taken. It makes patience a beautiful thing.

The above paragraph is an abstract from my private journal entry dated June 25, 2007.

I was feeling low and decided to browse through my handwritten journal entries. I almost forgot writing about it. Now that I recall, I was in the middle of a lecture when the idea came to mind. There are many types of learners in this world; they adopt styles that fit them best. Unfortunately, society where I love in does not think this way. Their view of a good, A-class student is a person who is hardworking, consistent, bookworm-ish, and polite and who rigidly plays by the rules: the no-nonsense kind of person.

There was a student who was thought as the type who poked fun at everything and was not serious in his studies. In the teachers’ opinion, he played and joked around all the time. They thought he never revised his lessons as he seemed to appear distracted most of the time in the classroom. Yes, he appeared disinterested but he never disturbed other students during lessons. When he aced in exam, they accused him of cheating.

Now, isn’t that scenario a bit too revolting? Whatever happened to individuality? Whatever happened to the famous statement ‘different person, different styles’? Having a flair for ‘having fun’ does not mean a student is not serious with his or her studies. Teachers (and other students) should not jump straight to conclusions. They should have at least talked to the aforementioned carefree student for information regarding his studies. Sometimes, one learns best on one’s own. In the case of the boy mentioned in above paragraph, he was actually the type of person who study diligently at home from 8pm until 1am every single day. It is only unfortunate that when his effort paid off, no one believed him, not even his teachers who were supposed to be his pillars of support.

In my opinion, a ‘good’ student does not refer to a student who follows everything his teacher said, nor does it refer to a student who follows the rule like a machine and sits somewhere in the corner immersed in a book or other reading materials (if not practice exam questions). A good student is a student who knows his goals -the term refers to a student who knows why he needs education, why he goes to school everyday and how he wants to lead his life in the future. A good student acknowledges what his teachers had done for him when he succeeds. Nowadays, there are many cases where when students ace in exam, they boast about their learning styles and the support they get from their parents. Teachers almost never came first on the list. However when students fail, they immediately put the blame on their subject teachers, accusing the poor teachers of not knowing how to teach properly, etc, etc.

Sad, isn’t it?