Friday, February 27, 2009

This thing about resilience

It had been a rather frustrating past week for me, with all the requests by some of the students, and their parents, regarding their requests for the dropping of their O level subjects. What frustrates me is not so much about the request per se, but more so on the mental model that these 'droppers' seems to have regarding their subject selection. It seems pretty obvious that what these kids really need are a huge dose of mental resilience. Seriously I don't remember having to give up, or at least trying to give up the subjects that I was assigned to, no matter how I hated the subject matter, or the teacher, or both, when I was their age. I think for most of those in my age group, what we did was just to suck it up, go through the paces, and just 'bash through the wall'!

But this time round, things are happening differently! At the sight or at the mere hint of difficulty with the subject area, or even at the very thought of just even disliking the teacher that teaches the subject, guess what our students will do? Yeah, they would drop the subject! Lame reasons like: not interested in the subject, too much time to concentrate on the subject, and similar excuses, really seems to irk me at times, but no matter what, as far as possible we would try to accede to their requests! It is just that, at times to me, some of them are:

- really abusing the system of dropping the subjects, taking it as the easiest and fastest way out of doing work, or worst still, of really avoiding being put through their paces of really stretching their potential...they just do not seem to want their potentials stretched!
- asking their parents to talk to the teachers! I mean seriously, at the age of 16 and 17, don't you have the mental courage or necessary wherewithal to even put forth an articulate, logical and convincing argument about your 'case'. Do you really need to 'hide' behind your parents? I remember making my own decisions about which school to go to at the age of 12, and having the mental courage to want to choose what subjects I wanted to study at the age of 14-15. Seriously, I shudder to think, that when these students go on forth to their post-secondary institution, would they consider THAT easy way out too?

It can get frustrating at times to handles such cases or to be entertaining such issues, but I guess this is just part of parcel of how things would be, as we get to be a more inclusive profession. But what worries me even more is that if the society that we are currently moulding, the ones that are under our care right now, are not even ready to face a little bit of hardship, and lacking in what I call mental tenacity and resilience, and if things were to turn up just as bad like what we are experiencing right now with the economy, and if the 'Flatness' that I have been blogging about hits them, will they be able to survive? Maybe they really need a slight dose of realism in their lessons too!

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