Important Reminder for your children during Exam Season


June, 2018

Right now, at this very moment, there are millions of children all over the world who are preparing for exams.  Many of which will be feeling nervous about the impending scrutiny of their abilities.  Many will believe that their self-worth is reliant on the outcome of their written exam papers.  A school principal in Singapore sent this letter to the parents before the exams, and what an incredibly refreshing outlook it is.   

Follow your Dreams

Dear Parents,

The exams of your children are to start soon.  I know you are all really anxious for your child to do well.  But, please do remember, amongst the students who will be sitting for the exams there is an artist, who doesn’t need to understand about Maths.  There is an entrepreneur, who doesn’t care about History or English Literature.  There is a musician, whose Chemistry marks won’t matter. There’s an athlete whose physical fitness is more important than Physics. If your child does get top marks, that’s great! But if he or she doesn’t, please don’t take their self-confidence and dignity away from them.  Tell them it’s OK, it’s just an exam! They are cut out for much bigger things in life.  Tell them, no matter what they score that you love them and will not judge them.  Please do this, and when you do, watch your children conquer the world. One exam or a low mark won’t take away their dreams and talent.  And please, do not think that doctors and engineers are the only happy people in the world.

Embrace your unique talents

Wow, what an incredibly inspirational letter and a stark contrast to the usual perspective of school principals.  Could this signal a powerful shift in the way we view exams and education in general?  Here in the U.K and in many other parts of the world its exam season with children being put under immense pressure to achieve high grades.  Often this is due to parents and teachers, but also self-inflicted due to societal messages which they’ve received throughout their whole lives.  Commenting from a personal perspective, I always did well in English because I loved the subject, I looked forward to the lessons and was genuinely passionate about the subject, and now I’m a writer.  Somehow though, wired deep in my belief system was a necessity to be good at every subject, and if I wasn’t then I didn’t make the mark full stop.  As children and young adults we come to view our level of academic excellence as a benchmark for worthiness in general.

Now that I’m older and wiser and having finally worked out that I am far far more than my perceived intelligence, the freer I feel.  If like the principal above we were told to follow our dreams our road to happiness would be attained far quicker.  Rather than believing that we had to get a grade ‘A’ in every subject, imagine if we celebrated excelling naturally in one particular area. Rather than children having to think about which career to pursue, imagine if they felt what was right for them because they followed their heart.  Imagine if they followed what made them smile and what made them feel good inside.  Imagine a generation that knew their precious value in the world and understood that they have a unique gift to share with the world.  Imagine a world where children are excited to learn, and know that their attitude beyond the classroom is what counts.