For 11-year-old Ben Twist and his mother, a heartwarming surprise came home one fine day, in the form of two letters: one with his exam results and the other, addressed to him from his school teacher. His exam results said he had failed his recent test. The other letter made Ben’s mother break into tears of joy.
Ben suffered from autism and had difficulty in picking up things in class. He usually got stressed when going to school. In the letter, the teacher appreciated Ben for his other talents weren’t measured in the test that he had failed. It included his musical and artistic talents, his kindness, his developing independence, his abilities to play sports and so on.
Ben’s teacher, in her letter, also emphasised on the fact that answering exam questions was not always the best method to test a child’s ability to excel in life. She had further said that every child was special in his/her own way and had unique qualities and the teachers should make the students understand this and celebrate their individuality.
Furthermore, the letter was addressed to Ben, which, he found overwhelming and ‘amazing’. He added that ‘he couldn’t believe that someone had said all those lovely things about him’. Had you anticipated that a simple letter of appreciation for Ben’s efforts would have such a lasting impact on him and his family?
Teachers must take a moment to appreciative every child’s efforts. A heartfelt note or a gesture of gratitude can work wonders in boosting a child’s self-confidence and can motivate them to put in accelerated efforts the next time. There is no better reward than appreciation: appreciation for making genuine efforts regardless of the results, appreciation for a kind act - however small or big it may be, appreciation for speaking the truth in hard times when lying is a more tempting and easier option and make them proud of themselves for practicing good values.
Ever since the incidence, Ben showed huge improvement in his studies and responded well in class. He started to enjoy his studies and no longer hesitated to make new friends.
Are you being appreciative enough?