Earlier this week, I received a WhatsApp from an ecstatic mother.
"... I just wanted to share with you how my child got 100% for her unprepared reading. Her teacher even sent me a message saying she read beautifully... only one in grade 7 who read loudly and clearly... I can see the confidence she has since starting the Academy..."
What more could one ask for! This is a student who has attended classes (some online!) faithfully for a year and a half. She progressed from a primary aged class into a youth theatre class. She has responded so well to our contant challenges in class, she has picked up on our enthusiastic demonstrations, and our developmental programme in seeping into the way she lives life outside of drama. Life. Skills. She is picking up these vital skills and becoming skilled at life!
A few days later, I received a WhatsApp from a different mother, this time querying the opposite. Her child (much younger) had just done an oral and feedback from her teacher was that it was incredibly soft, and the little one had held the paper in front of her face throughout the oral. I encouraged the mom by letting her know that each child is different, and progresses at their own rate. That this kind of development takes time. And, most of all, I could confidently tell this mom that in the 22 years that I have been teaching this programme, I have never once witnessed a child, who attended our classes consistently for two years or more, not display a marked level of increased success in various aspects of life, both social, emotional and academic.
"A river cuts through rock, not because of its power but because of its persistence." - Nicky Gumbel
So this little one's teacher and I will take some extra time during her classes to coax the confidence, and to coach the speech skills, until it is embedded in her persona that she IS capable and competent. The more opportunities we offer her to succeed in our classroom, the more programmed for success she will become outside of our classroom. And her skill at doing life will grow.
I look forward to hearing back from this same mother in a few months' time, reporting of grown confidence and improved communication skills, and of the rampant momentum that comes as successful experiences begin to multiply in her life.