Thomas, an African American student, was one of the students in my Statistics class. He was a big boy who also disturbed the class making weird noises while I taught. I decided to write him an email, telling him that I wanted to help him do better and be successful. I wasn’t sure it would work, but I felt it was worth trying.
I got an email from Thomas after two days. In his reply, he apologised for his behaviour and told me that he would see me after school to understand the basics of the subject. I was happy to get his email but wasn’t sure he meant what he said. To my surprise, Thomas came that day, and after that, he became a sincere student who within two weeks raised his grades from an F to a B+.
What made me write this story? When I asked Thomas if someone was helping him with his homework, he told me his mother was. I was surprised because Statistics is not something everyone was familiar with. I asked him if his mother was a teacher or somebody who knew the subject he said his mom just wanted him to be successful and when she saw him paying attention, she was delighted and wanted to help him. She read up herself to help him doing his homework.
I then felt the power of kind words and felt so light and happy. I know I may not be the best teacher or even close, but I try to be empathetic.
We mus strive to be compassionate and empathetic in our decisions.