Friday, 30 May 2014

When Teacher Says You Can't


The other day I sat and looked at my paint covered hands and immediately my mind was awash with the words.....'I hope you are good at your academic subjects because you are useless with your hands!'

I smiled as I shook my head and said to myself...'If she could only see me now....'

When I was about 12 years old, my needlework teacher told me that I was useless with my hands. She said that she hoped I was good at my other subjects because she didn't want me in her class the following year. 

As if I wanted to be doing that for the rest of my school days! I didn't even like needlework anyway....

Now I have had many teachers, who have said plenty of words to me....but none stand out like those... But you know what? Her words never left me. I believed her! I took her word as law and for a very long time I let those words control me. 

I believed that I couldn't do anything useful with my hands and always shied away from tasks that required working with my hands. I know there may be some people who wouldn't believe that today...but yes that was me....

Since moving to the UK in 2001, I have been unlearning and relearning. 

Working in a school at that time exposed me to some pretty amazing teachers from all around the world. One day I commented to the Art teacher, who shall remain nameless, that I was useless with my hands and couldn't draw. She immediately corrected me and said, 'just like everyone can write, everyone can draw...we are just at different stages of learning...' and those are words I will never forget too....

I started doing more things with my hands, got into crafts and even cross stitching (surprise) and I wasn't half bad....I had shocked myself and finally realised that just because I didn't like needlework, didn't mean I was useless. I have grown in confidence and have even stepped out of my comfort zone....I now use paint....for a very long time, I was afraid to use paint in any of my work....now, I love it!

My hope is that the teachers of today don't repeat the mistakes of old, even when the pressure mounts and the stress gets too much at times. Teachers have a huge responsibility and hold a very fragile and precious artefact in their hands....the future generation....
Teach them well...

I suppose I can be thankful for the experience.....it has taught me never to accept the restrictions placed on my capabilities by the ignorance of others. Don't let others tell you your worth....you are worth it anyway....

When I look at what I can do with my hands today, I am amazed at the journey thus far....
I accept that I may not the best....but I'm pretty ok....and that's just perfect...
My one regret is that it has taken me so long to rid my life of the effects of controlling words....