What does every parent want for their child? If a parent could choose just one thing, chances are the answer would be a simple:
I want my child to be happy.
Few, if any, parent would say: I want my child to be the top PSLE student / score 100% in Maths / get into the Gifted Education Programme.
Some of you are probably thinking: Yes, I want my child to be happy, but I also want my child to do well in school. Is there anything wrong with that? Absolutely not.
In fact, studies have shown that there is a positive correlation between happiness and academic achievement.
Given how much time children spend in school, educators form an important part of a child’s social network. How many times have you heard a parent lamenting about her child not doing well in a subject because the child does not have 'chemistry' with a particular teacher?
Caring, nurturing teachers who are passionate about the subjects they teach can ignite a lifelong love for the subject in students. Such teachers are always encouraging, and take a genuine interest in the well-being of their young charges.
Curriculum is not a commodity. Designing lessons that are engaging, relevant, effective and useful is a painstaking process. But it’s effort well-spent.
Children are naturally inquisitive. When students find a challenge interesting and are given the freedom to explore and develop their own solutions, they become self-motivated problem-solvers. Everyone feels a sense of accomplishment they solve difficult problems, and children are no exception.
Tying it all together.
The Grade Happiness Equation
For educators, this presents a tremendous opportunity. If we invest effort in building a positive learning environment, we could nurture happy students who are predisposed to achieving better grades. And when students get good grades, they are happy. It’s a virtuous cycle.
Good grades and happy students need not be mutually exclusive. Indeed, they go hand in hand. If you want to raise happy children who achieve good grades, all you have to do is simply supply your children with nurturing teachers who deliver engaging lessons. There, the ‘secret’ is finally out.
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