Medical professionals so often are required to take the "Hippocratic oath" to "do no harm." Doctors have the power within them to do quite a bit of harm, but swear not to. So often, educators also have the intense ability to do harm. Piercing words of discouragement can ruin a students passion and drive. Practically everyone has a horror story of an educator discouraging them. Educators should be the main force of encouragement in a students life. This post is for three people; the educator, the student, and the parent.
Educators, whether formal or informal, always encourage your students. You have within you the power to change lives and alter destinies. Being over-worked and under-payed (especially in public education) you can begin to experience "burn-out". It is your responsibility to never let your emotions get in the way of a students education. We all know the correction sandwich; compliment, correction, new compliment. Always reassure your student that they are making progress (however slow). Always make clear your pride in their efforts. Always show love and affection, softening correction with gentleness. Students don't want to learn when they don't feel important or loved. Your legacy will be tainted and worthless if your students lose out on education because of discouragement.
Parents, be sure to encourage your students as well. The philosophy can never be stressed enough of the importance of the parent-teacher relationship in a child's education. You are, in essence, your child's main educator. You have a responsibility to first, encourage to practice and do their homework. This builds habits for success in your child. Second, you have a responsibility to be their biggest cheerleader. Studies in child and developmental psychology have shown that parents who encourage students often see the best outcomes. When no one believes in your child, they should always hear your voice of encouragement saying "don't listen to them, you're amazing." You have the opportunity to raise your child to greatness through encouragement.
Students, never allow a naysayer to bring you down. We are all students, so this paragraph applies to all readers. Constantly learn, and always imagine. Their are immense possibilities in this wild world. If you want to do something then do it! It does not matter what anyone says, you have to believe in yourself. Dr. Ben Carson was called dumb by his elementary school teachers, he went on to be the worlds greatest pediatric neurosurgeon and a U.S. 2016 POTUS candidate. Your future is ultimately in your control, you just have to believe it. Anyone who has ever became great was once told they would fail.
I'd encourage all - educators, parents, students - to take the Hippocratic oath. Educators and parents, do no harm to your students. Never discourage, always encourage. Students, do no harm to yourself. You have to believe in yourself, that will determine your success. Go, and do no harm.