Rachel's March Update
|Driving home from our annual Western Regional Youth Unlimited retreat|
“You think you are dumb, don’t you?” With tears in her eyes she walks down the stairs away from her math class. “I know how it feels,” I explained to her, “Math was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me” I shared with her how exactly that looked in my life when I was in high school. She calmed down as we walked to the counseling office. As we began working through her math worksheets I could see the struggle in her eyes. The frustration and negative belief in herself was hindering her from focusing. If she didn’t instantly get it she would blurt out “I am too dumb for this” or “I can’t do this”. I assured her she wasn’t dumb, just frustrated, and the reason she was in school in the first place was to learn. If she knew it already she wouldn’t need to be there. To her amazement, she caught on quickly but still didn’t think she was capable even after completing the majority of the work. The following day we continued the math lessons.
The problem does not lie within the math, the problem lies with in the mind. Self-talk is an issue for the majority of the students I get to know. If they are having a hard time understanding a subject, they automatically assume they are dumb. If they accomplish the work, the grade is never good enough. Often it is assumed that someone is being humble when they say ‘my work is okay’, but for these students, they don’t believe in themselves and they don’t have anyone to tell them otherwise. Oftentimes, the voices they hear at home and school are no better than their own; “You’re stupid, you’re useless and worthless, I don’t want you here, you’re not good enough”, etc. It is easy to
become crippled when up against something difficult because if it seems as though there’s no way out, what’s the point in trying. Many of these teens confront these feelings daily.
Don’t worry, there is a bright side and that bright side is you. Thanks to your continual support, I am able to go into Langley Secondary School and speak into the lives of young people. The moment these teenagers believe that they can do the work needed to surpass a struggle, they will excel, anxieties will be lifted, confidence will be built and, ultimately, character will be grown. Thank you for the work you do to allow me to be a part of making a difference in your neighbourhood. Together we can keep changing lives.