Last update: 11-Dec-2013 4:05 am
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Giants of underachievement
School opened last week. Pressure! On the road and in the school. For some children the agony of defeat has started: school failure. All the attention is given to the high achievers; pity the boy or girl who is doing badly in school. To make things worse, it sometimes feels that if you have not gone to one of the traditional “prestige” schools, you are a nobody. Yet there are so many productive, creative, hard-working men and women around who underachieved in school.
When parents tell me about the seemingly abominable behaviour of their child, I hope it helps when I tell them that it’s normal. When your seemingly intelligent child is not doing well in school it often helps to remember some of the giants who were school failures. Isaac Newton, mathematical genius, professor of mathematics at Cambridge, the discoverer of the Universal Law of Gravity, was born prematurely. His school reports described him as “idle” and “inattentive.”
Thomas Edison is probably the most famous and productive inventor of all time, with more than 1,000 patents in his name, including the electric light bulb, phonograph, and motion picture camera. He was hearing-impaired owing to scarlet fever and started school late. He did so badly he dropped out of school after three months. Teachers said he was too “addled” to learn. His father thought he was stupid, and he almost decided he must be a dunce. He was then home-schooled by his mother.
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