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Linking Young Minds Together
  Volume 3 | Issue 08 | February 27, 2011 |


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Tagged to be demotivated

Maleeha Mazen Khan

For students who pass with flying colours in almost every subject, life and circumstances to them are usually very generous in nature. Back in my school days, my mom would often frown upon my procrastination, hinting that no one will like me if I keep scoring unimaginably low scores.

Little did I know that moms are always right when it comes to wisdom. When it comes to my case starting from grade five till grade eight, I had the most terrible time since most of my teachers treated me with indifference as I held the 'not a good student' image. It is a common tendency in all the schools, be it the English medium or Bengali medium that a comparatively weak student is distinguished and often insulted in front of the whole class. There is a fine line between scolding and insulting. What we as students face in schools are insults from our teachers, who we expect to be understanding toward our habits, so that our faults can be worked out.

Photo : Zahedul I Khan

When we receive a bad grade, our parents tend to scold us; sometimes they get so mad, they rely on dramatic punishments. While our teachers, only play along being a 'bully' and demeans us in front of our class mates which results into demotivation,low self-esteem, and increases the chances of holding unhealthy grudges. The difference between parents and teachers when it comes to handling a weak student is, parents deal with it within the household, whereas teachers develop an image of the student which transforms itself into a piece of gossip traveling through the entire school. Once in eighth grade, I did very badly in biology. My teacher pointed out easier ways to study this particular subject while my language teacher kept on insulting me till I cried, and that too because I was a day late in submitting my homework. The interesting thing was, I was not the only one amongst my classmates, but I had to face the humiliation because I was 'not a good student'.

In the year 2007, when the film “Taare Zameen Par” was released, I cried while watching it because I could relate to the child. Of course the child had other unfortunate issues that I hadn't faced, but the instances where the teachers would insult him, the classmates would laugh at him, and to the extent to which no one understood him...I could relate.

Starting from playgroup till the A'levels, I was never a good student. The problem with me didn't concern any sort of inability to understand but it turned out that I was always less focused. When I look back there was no teacher who would inspire me, and I was all by myself. I barely passed, and those traumatising memories started to pile up ever since I got to sixth grade. My days would start with the yells from my teachers, and would end with my classmates taunting me. I learnt the hard way when it came to dealing with the humiliating moments my teachers had put me through. That too was much later, when I had many inspiring friends and my mentor, my literature teacher who is the most positive person I have ever met.

Encouragement is an essential ingredient in teaching. It will never help if a teacher chooses to impart his or her teachings in a way that breaks a child's confidence.


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