• WE AS EDUCATORS HAVE FAILED

    I have said this to my son many times. If he is an unhappy child, I have failed as a father and folks, I take this very personally. I have come back to Chennai for my usual traveling educators series and learned about Anita and also the blue whale challenge.

    I feel insulted as an educator. I feel our intelligence and passion are insulted. Time and again, we lose out to negativity and the spreading of it. Let's just spend a minute thinking about why this is happening folks? It is happening because education is associated with negativity. We talk about stressed out students dealing with anxiety and emotional breakdowns and all this for a simple grade.

    Let me ask you something. Is there a law that we are supposed to scare our kids with exams and grades? Is there proof that hours and hours of tuition and coaching classes are the only reasons why students do so well. As educators, is it not a massive slap on the face that our students have to go to other people's classes so that they can do well in exams? Does this not bother us at all?

    You know what folks? I am not saying this to insult our profession and trust me when I say this because, I am one of you. We need to make education lovable and addictive and more importantly, make it a level playing field. It is the difference in standards that led to the death of one of our most intelligent minds. Anita represented hope. Anita represented the true passion behind learning and what it can lead to. We lost an angel and if that does not upset you, most probably nothing will.

    No, this is not about pedagogy or latest methods of learning. It is about love and how it can make learning a level playing field. We are supposed to be the inspiration and I am sure some of us are, but this group needs to get bigger. As I was recovering from the news that we had lost Anita, I heard about the Blue Whale Challenge and how this mad man has got students and adults thinking about torture and even death. Seriously? We are losing out to this idiot? Excuse my language but I am beyond angry right now. We need the confidence and the spirit to rise up to the challenge of making learning lovable again and it starts right now. We have a million tasks to make this world a better place to live in and instead of that, we listen to this clown hiding behind a mask?

    Let us begin a revolution folks and it is a quiet but fun one. Post a video per day on positive learning and make it funny.

    Make sure 10 people smile and share this with all on social media. Tell your students to hug you before class and say "good day" to every one they see. Ask them say thank you to the janitors and security guards of the school and get to know 5 things about them.

    No, learning is not just about subjects; it is beyond walls. Character is the foundation of learning and it brings magic to learning. Let us unleash this character in our students and the grades will automatically go up. It is time for renewal and revival. I can only hope and pray that you are with me on this. Looking forward and welcome to the classroom without walls.

    From the Desk of Gabriel Suppiah


  • Have we lost control of our kids? Is there such a thing?

    I am writing this sitting on a plane with my kids traveling to India for a once in a life time experience. Yes, a traditional Indian wedding is what we are flying to India for. But this is not about that experience but the one we are having on the plane as I write this.

    Well at this stage, I have to introduce myself a little so that the story makes a little more sense to you as we progress. My name is Gabriel Suppiah, and I am a Peak Performance Coach and an educator working out of Singapore. I am known for strict discipline and am recognised striking fear with people I work with, clients, students, parents, my own family and the list goes on (something I am not proud of, but it happens.) So, you have an idea now.

    Now back to the story at hand. My kids and I were seated next to a Mother traveling alone with her two boys. As the plane was about to take off, the boys were really misbehaving. The boys were maybe 3 and 6 in ages. The Mother had lost control and kept threatening the kids using the flight attendant. Her famous ineffective statement of the evening was "you boys better behave and fasten the seat belts before I call the flight attendant". The flight attendant came, tried, and got frustrated not with the kids but with the Mother for having absolutely no control.

    The plane was on the runway getting ready for take off and the boys were still standing on their seats. Even the other passengers were getting worried for the boys . I did not want to be the scary man but this moment really needed Coach Gabe. I turned to my right and in a stern yet gentle voice (not too sure what that really means, but you get the point), I said to the boys, "I need you to sit down right this moment and fasten your seat belts". The boys did exactly that and there was calm  on the plane.

    This entire time, my kids were paying attention to what was happening as well. They were proud that their dad had control of the situation but I saw another expression on their faces. The expression that spoke volumes saying "my dad is a scary man". Do I want this branding? This made me further think about basic manners and discipline. How do we as parents deal with our kids who are ill mannered? Leave it or deal with it. If my observations are right, more people have lost control of their kids or have no relationship with them. Do you see yourself in this situation as well?

    If yes, let's RISE UP. We are awesome parents and as Long as we show balance in the way we raise our kids, we will never lose our kids to bad behaviour and the "new discipline" of this millennium could be a good one. How do we achieve this? There is no fix formula for this folks but let's share some ideas shall we? I hope some of you parents can share some ideas too.

    1. Have regular conversations with kids that are not directly connected to school work. Talk about your good  experiences in life. Talk about great leaders, strength, perseverance and success. Follow a role model as a family. Try your level best to not make this academic.

    2. Regular outings and activities that you pick up as a family and learn. Some examples could be Canoeing, golfing, Bowling, etc. Get competitive when you need to, and share experiences and stories of sportsmanship. Activities are a winner when it comes to raising kids with great values. Let me stress this. Don't just send your kids for course, learn with them.

    3. Pick a good book with great values. Everyone reads a different kind of book and on a designated book club evening, share your learnings and understanding of your findings. Simple exercise that brings a family together.

    There are plenty more folks. We got to take charge in this matter. Remember the day they were born, when we held their little bodies in our hands. Remember the words we said and the promises we made? Let's renew them and start over. Let's form a community of great parents.

    From the Desk of Gabriel Suppiah



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