Double Role! by Dr. Jyoti Hegde
Parents and teachers can use this short story to encourage children to concentrate while studying.
"Neha, how many times I have told you not to repeat the same mistakes", yelled Neha's mom, Anjali in a frustrated tone. Anjali was feeling drained correcting the repeated spelling mistakes made by Neha every day. "Neha, it's OK to make mistakes for the first time. No one is perfect. But, when I point out your mistakes to you, I expect you to note where you have gone wrong, correct it, remember the right thing to do and not to repeat the blunders the next time," shouted Anjali.
Anjali had tried different methods - from explaining to her in a nice manner, making her write the same word ten times, teaching through phonics and finally through shouting. But nothing seemed to work as Neha would not concentrate while studying.
Anjali wanted Neha to experience what a teacher goes through when a student is uncooperative. So, Anjali came up with an idea. The next day, Anjali sat down with Neha to take her studies. Anjali wrote a few questions to prepare Neha for the next day's test at school and told Neha to answer them. Neha repeated the same spelling mistakes in her answers. Anjali handed out a red pen to Neha and said, "Neha, now correct what you have written by referring to your school note book." Neha enthusiastically circled all the spelling mistakes in red and then handed over the book to Anjali. Anjali returned it back to Neha and told her, "For one week you have to play a double role - the role of a student as well as of a teacher. You have corrected your work. Now you have to decide whether the student in you wants to ignore the mistakes pointed out or work on them. The choice is yours."
Neha always scored good marks in class and would enjoy the attention she got. But she was aware that the good marks were a result of her mom's constant efforts in forcing her to study. She knew that her mom would sit with her and ensure she completes her studies. This made Neha always feel relaxed before exams. But now, Neha was made responsible for her studies. Neha liked the experience of playing the role of the teacher. But the next part of working on her mistakes was not going to be easy for her. But what choice was she left with? Neha pondered, "If the student in me chooses not to work on my mistakes, then the teacher in me will not be satisfied with my work." So she chose to please both the teacher and the student in her by focussing on her mistakes while studying and remembering not to repeat them. Neha had played the double role well.
Dr. Jyoti Hegde is a Corporate soft skills trainer and a life skills trainer for kids based in Goa, India. Her passion is to conduct sessions for kids on the values, habits, and life skills needed for health, happiness and success.