Inspired by a brilliant share by Susan Cain, Article by Kelly Wickham Hurst
Link to article below.
Here are my views on the article.
I can identify a lot with the article because of the similar shared practises that I believe cross over to any ‘minority’ race in a given demographic.
Pretty much my whole childhood and teen youth.
Dux of the school every year, straight A’s, middle eastern background male, born and raised in sandy hair, blue eyed Australia, no attention needed, I slotted himself into the mould of inattention by being obedient. No enhancement needed. Don’t need to nurture my skill, refine my abilities, push me harder, to achieve more, to be more, to give more of myself.
No, I had to sever from the education system to find myself and it’s taken me twenty years after leaving school, (fourteen after leaving university) out of my life to come to realise what I want to be ‘when I grow up’.
Because the guy sitting in the front row every class doesn’t need as much attention as the trouble maker in the back. Introversion becomes the codeine for a teachers attention as it numbs her/him from seeing you. Even at university level, especially at university level, because young adults paying big dollar need even less attention from older adults, earning enough dollar who also got no attention, vicious cycle.
That is until your art and music teachers see you differently, because God just built artists that way, they’re feelers, they’re knowers, not prattlers, oh and my fifth grade teacher, who all woke me up to the idea I could do something. Still though, they’re just little nudges, not follow through pushing, encouragement enough to steer you or to set you on your course
Are teachers afraid to? Are they under too much pressure by schools, boards, govt to stay out of the business of people and just lambaste material into peoples brains emotionally detached from caring and loving the humans that are struggling to develop in front of them?
What could I have been if I was honed much earlier and didn’t have to wait for the hand of time, which often comes as the bloodied fist, to teach me? Why did time have to refine me all these years later when we offer so much respect and expect our pedagogy to bring out the best of our children?
Why are we fed this lie of education at government funded centres being so important if importance of each child is overlooked?
I don’t have anyone’s answers but my own which is why I decided to stop this downward spiral of events. I won’t let my children be relegated to the back of a classroom as a problem child that needs constant attention, albeit for the wrong reasons, possibly stigmatising them, turning them into self fulfilling prophecies of problems, just because they question everything and won’t take black and white answers, nor will I have them neglected because they’re mediocre and don’t rock the boat (because they are damned behaved), nor will I have them overlooked and not honed and pruned to grow as far up as possible, because they are complicit and do their work.
I’ve tasted it all and my introversion had me questioning these things from a very young age. I was quite aware of what gets attention in class, who gets the extra help during, before and after class. Who’s parents are the ones that are conversed to, what a gurgler of a system we have, so many children lost down it, never reaching the true brilliance they have inside them lurking because a teacher, for whatever reason doesn’t have the time to devote to each and every child. But, I knew my place, shut my mouth and stayed away from frolicking the feathers of an over caffeinated, underpaid employee of the state.
This is not to blame the teachers wholly, but it is to blame them partially, because that bias, if they search deep within themselves, does exist, I know it does, I’ve experienced it growing up and as a parent, as a homeschooler who has five children. As someone who knows some of his kids just get on with what they’re meant to do and others don’t. I came to this realisation a while ago and spread my attention to them accordingly.
Anyway, rant over, check out Susan Cain’s post in the link below. Do any of you identify with this?
3 thoughts on “Race, introversion, gender… ”
This is amazing! I’ve been homeschooled all my life, except for one year in middle school, and subhanaAllah I couldn’t relate more. For that year, I truly got to experience a whole new spectrum of “schooling” that I had never known…basically, efficiently dumbing down any dregs of brilliance and passion and the zeal for learning and expanding that comes so naturally to kids. For all these years, my peers constantly speculate on how I am prepared to go “out there” and my response is that 1) I already am, and 2) in all honesty, homeschoolers are better prepared…no eight hour sitting sprees, insensitive teachers, busy work, concentrated age ranges, lack of real world experience. The list goes on. On the contrary, my mother has been the beacon of knowledge for me, deeply caring for my way in this world beyond the next grade in a report card, and a teacher’s pay check. Teachers ARE the most wonderful beings after the ones who raised you, and many of them change you in ways you never imagined, with their gentle guidance and firm ways, and for that I am forever indebted… But we must seek out THOSE teachers. And in all honesty, all of the ones that were as such, taught me Quran, History, and like you alluded to, the arts in general…they are hard to find in public education systems. These schools are fashioned to take each child, so exuberant in their own way, and push and force their soft edges through the confinements of their cookie cutter agenda (for lack of better imagery! :0) As my new school year started today, your post gave me even more hope in the sloowly changing face of our enlightenment process. One day the sacredness and love for the quest for knowledge will return, and until then my Duaas and love to your kids, and anyone else who struggles otherwise, because we’re in the same boat 🙂 (I sincerely apologise for this long comment.I was overflowing when I read this, and couldn’t contain myself🙈)
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Salams Khadija and I am so happy you actually did comment. I’m enthralled to read of your experiences and shared beliefs. I arrived at it through my curiosity button, which I will post about later as it is part of a book I am trying to piece together (albeit whilst overcoming anxiety about it not being good enough, or myself being deluded about it).
The journey is not smooth sailing, but definitely much more rewarding.
I hope your studies or future with your own children are future forward, more enjoyable and fulfilling.
Walaikumussalam, thank you so much for your thoughtful reply. You are very right about this journey and its implications…MashaAllah, your book sounds so interesting! I guess sometimes second guessing yourself is part of the process of creating something amazing, but I’m sure what you’re putting effort and passion into, will not disappoint you, inshaAllah 🙂 From the likes of what I read from you every week, Allah has really put a great gift in your hand, literally, and I really hope it can touch more people, like it has to me. May He grant you with steadfastness in whatever you endeavor, and success! Ameen to your Duaas, and I’ll be keeping them in mind as I get ready for the upcoming Pre SATs this winter 🙂
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