As an Educator, I Help Kids Start on the Right Path
When I look into my student’s faces, whether they are in the physical therapist’s office or at their desk or during a sports lesson, I know that their goal is to get better, and that I am one of many who are hoping to assist them in achieving that goal. I see the aspirations and determination in their eyes, and I feel their joy. I know that there are challenges ahead of them, but with patience and support, they will progress.
I also see the perfection and pressure to achieve it. These are the students who are scared of failing, not liking their bodies, or achieving the perfect body, just because of what society thinks their bodies should look like. However, when they are not being held to the same standards, they go home and try to fix their bodies to look like the perfect bodies they see in magazines. And many of these girls are the ones with behavioral or learning issues that require immediate attention.
Perhaps if we as adults could help more children avoid the pressures of perfection and accept what they have and embrace the changes they need to make as students, we could encourage the positive habits of honesty, respect, and responsibility that they will need to feel their best selves as adults, in both their individual and professional lives. When we remember what can be learned from our mistakes, when we stop to acknowledge our strengths and allow them to shine, and when we accept our imperfections as evidence that we work hard and put our best foot forward, then we can be inspired to help our students follow these same rules.
Our students have ways of changing themselves to fit the ideal society has created for them. This means working on realistic bodies and not becoming obsessed with the idea of perfection. We as adults and experts can help our students by being honest with them, and not trying to make them see perfection through a warped prism. It is our job to not make them feel like they are failures just because they aren’t always succeeding. These failures can help them learn from their experiences, grow, and become healthier.