meep (meep) wrote,

Thoughts on praising kids

Praise the effort/work, not the potential

This somewhat fits in with my "No Kid's Ass Left Unkicked" idea.

But seriously, don't think that every child whose intelligence is noted repeatedly will be so damn neurotic about performance issues. I had no problem attempting new intellectual challenges, even if I wasn't good at them. I spent time on math because I liked it, but I spent time on chemistry because I needed to work harder on that to get to A level. I had to do a lot more work on Japanese than analysis, for example. But I enjoyed them both, though I was middling on the Japanese.

Then my senior year Modern Physics class was interesting in its dynamics, because I was one of a couple students who didn't bitch about the amount of homework Kolena gave us (it wasn't much). Frankly, a bunch of the students were in the class not because they particularly wanted to learn the subject, but to burnish their image as "physics gods". And yeah, quite a few of them were shy of answering questions in class, possibly for fear of being found out for having wrong answers.

FURTHER: reading more into it, perhaps my lack of neuroticism on this score is my anti-social attitude regarding my "peers". I did not care very much as to what the kids in my classes thought of me (it didn't hurt that I was a popular target for teasing).

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