One challenge that schools have to face is "problem students." These are students who do strange or crazy things. However, I canthem. Why? Because I was once a problem student myself!
As a child, I always studied hard andon tests. But there was incredible pressure to succeed. It seemed that all school wanted from us children was to facts and pass tests. If we did well, people us. Success was everything. Failure was a .
As I grew older, I started to realize that I was studying not because I wanted to learn, but to please my parents and teachers. I was living for others, not for myself. And I. With every test, I kept worrying, " I fail?"
Finally, the moment came to face my fear. It was my second year of university. I was a French. It was time for my mid-term exam.
I still remember that day as if it were yesterday. We sat down at our desks. The teacherthe tests. "Please start," she said.
For everyone else, this wasexam. But for me, it was much more. It was an , a turning point, a . I was faced with an important decision — to continue to live scared or to from the pressure of expectations. "This is it!" I thought. "If I don't act now, I'll live the rest of my life in fear."
The next hour was slightly. On the grammar questions, I filled in the blanks with . For the vocabulary section, I circled all the , even the wrong ones. For the writing section, I ignored the and wrote an angry essay — in French — about the of testing, unhealthy school pressure and the right to study without fear.
When we handed in our answers, I walked out of the room feeling strangely. I was proud of myself. For the first time in my life, I a test. I faced my fear and freedom!
I soon got an urgent call from the French Department about my exam. It was a veryconversation! "Were you on drugs?" the teacher asked anxiously. "Do you ?" It was nice of her to worry. But it was hard to explain! Luckily, I was able to my failed test with an extra assignment later.
All this happened a long time ago. But, thanks to that experience, I now have morefor "problem students" who by school or by expectations.
Of course, tests are part of life and have to be accepted. But putting too much pressure on students isn't healthy. No one should live their life in fear!
The Japan Times ST: May 17, 2013