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  • Writer's pictureM Atkinson


Updated: Dec 26, 2021

I sometimes wonder what children are being told about their talents these days.

I remember figuring out quite early in life (I was 7 years old) that maths was not my talent. My teacher made me stay after class to finish a question that I just did not get. I felt stupid compared to my classmates and didn't dare to face my parents who were wondering what took me so long. There and then, I decided that I just couldn't do maths. All my teachers after that must have agreed because my grades were either very bad, or just bad.

I made peace with this realisation quickly, learning that neither my father, my mother or any of my three older brothers were any good at maths. So, the practical person I am, I decided to focus on what went well. I liked languages, biology, and geography so I had enough to do whilst giving up on maths, economics and everything that came close.

Now though, I wonder what I would've done if there had only been one teacher that would've said during a parent-teacher meeting: 'Your daughter isn't a maths star, yet.' Instead of the well-known: 'Your daughter isn't exactly a maths star.' What if we not only see the talents of our children but also the potential in what is apparently not their strongest point, yet?

I am not saying all children should develop every skill known to mankind, but we could alter the way we look at imperfections. School, after all, is a place to learn things we did not know or could not do, yet. Right? I believe the same is true for life. Every day we live and learn, so let's embrace our flaws as things we cannot do yet, and things we do not know as things we don't know yet.

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