About teaching and self-confidence
I was working as a private teacher for 4 years in Russia and this was the most exciting and life changing experience I have ever had. I met many different students. With some of them I spend just a few lessons, some stayed with me for a years, I have never heard of some of them again and some are my good friends now, some I gave up on and some run away from me, some of them I really proud of and some of them I don’t even remember. So now, I feel like I can write the whole book about it! OK, not a book, but I would like to share a couple a thoughts about it.
A private teacher usually gets the most difficult students, and now I would like to explain you, why. Working with a class schoolteacher always have stars. Successful pupils, who get the teacher fast and solve any problems given. It is a pleasure to work with them and see their growth. However, those students will never go to a private teacher. Only those, who has already failed in a subject, will search for the help. Moreover, usually they approach a private teacher in a few months before the final test, so the time is short.
One popular reason for this is that all the school time the student was to become an artist and several month before graduation, it was decided that he is to become a doctor, for example. The first thing to do, if you a private biology teacher, is to identify, what is the problem and why the student was not successful in the class.
It might be that the student was so busy doing art, that he just ignored biology and simply missed the material. This is the easiest case, you just start from the basics and help the student to learn fast and efficient.
Second case — the parents decide that he should be a doctor, but the student still wants to do art. No matter how hard you try to explain the material or involve the student into task solving — it simply will not work, because he is not interested in the material. Therefore, before you can do your job as a teacher you should convince student that being a doctor is cool and motivate him to study. If this does not work, you can try to convince the parents, that being a doctor is not as cool as it sounds, and it is much better for their child to be an artist. At least, you can try — anyway most probably you will lose this student.
Sometimes parents decide that their child could do both art and medicine. In addition, he can study math, all languages possible, economy, play chess, football and piano. In that case, the kid is so overloaded with work it is no wonder that he cannot cope with any homework. Unfortunately, as a private teacher it is not much you can do to help here.
Most often, I saw students, who believe, that he or she is not good enough to succeed in the subject. Such a student sincerely wants to be a doctor and help people. “I am too stupid to understand that,” — they say to me. To be completely honest, just a few times I was able to convince a person that it is not the case. When I did that, the result exceeded any expectation.
Once I had a student who could not cope with simplest task in her chemistry class and after our lessons, she has actually won a school Olympiad. Cool, right? Were it just self-confidence and motivation? No it were several month of intensive studying and task solving. Believe that she was not good enough was holding her back from trying. Self-confidence just made her study. Studying made her a successful student.
What I want to say, there is no gene, which would determine you as successful student. It is all just about your doing. There are no tricks: if you want it — come and get it. Just self-confidence does not make anyone successful. Siting and believing will not bring you any further to your goal.
It is your actions that make it and actions only. The secret is that the road could be very long and hard and you just need to go. Everyone falls and makes mistakes, but even if you go to your aim very slow you will much further than if you just give up after first fall. From my experience, the person who kept on going went much further, that the one, who stopped and said, that the way is too far.
Surely, you should believe in yourself enough not to give up facing difficulties. No tricks, no magic, no secret mantra to repeat to yourself every morning. If you want to be a doctor — study medicine, if you want to be an artist — put all your effort in art. Decide whom you want to be and just be that person. It is simple, as an orange.