Friday, August 5, 2011

The Little Boy Who Could Run by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

The Little Boy Who Could Run by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

Once there was a little boy who could run very, very fast. In fact, he would rather run than walk. When he began school, of course running inside the school was not allowed. The teachers, principal and other students would often remind him not to run, but he kept forgetting. Due to school budget cuts and focus on testing and retesting in preparation of standardized tests, there was no longer time for physical education (P.E.) or events such as May Day, which allowed students to show off physical skills and abilities. All he ever heard was “stop running,” “slow down,” and “do not run.” He heard the same at home from his parents; “stop running in the house” and “slow down or you will fall.” It took the little boy a couple of years to finally remember to stop running and he did stop running, at least around and in the presence of grown-ups.

Others did not realize that running was the little boy’s talent. Not being very good in school and constantly told not to do something he absolutely loved and was extremely good at adversely affected his confidence and self-esteem.

When the little boy reached middle school, his friends who knew his love of running decided to take matters in their own hands. Before rehearsals for the track team occurred, his friends manipulated events that got the school coaches on the track field and the friends challenged the little boy to a race. There was no contest; the little boy was in his element and boy did he run! The coaches never without their stopwatches hit their timer buttons and stared with amazement at the little boy. The friends had long dropped into the background and when the little boy came to the finish line he kept going; the coaches hit their stopwatches again and the little boy repeated the performance only this time breaking his first record. The coaches raced down to the finish line and asked the little boy why he had never brought it to their attention that he could run? The little boy look at them and simply replied, “I have always been told by adults to stop running or do not run.”  Needless to say, the little boy was back to running with approval this time from adults. Feeling good and accepted for his talent and ability to run his confidence and self-esteem improved as did his grades.

Parents, are you providing opportunities for your child to use and/or showcase his/her talents and abilities? Educators, is there at least one subject or activity within your school in which each student engages and accomplishes that enables the child to feel good about self and which can increase the student’s confidence to master school subjects and other skills and activities?

Mrs. Dorothy Barron, Founder
Parents Taking Charge in Education

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