Posted by: Clarinette | June 3, 2010

A criminal offense of ‘denial of potential’

We all need labels to identify, to categorize just to better understand. Teachers have always used labels to set different categories of students. As a student, one big challenge of the educational system is how to escape your negative labels.
Today, my daughter is preparing her Middle School graduation and I am so glad to see how the hard work has paid off.
I am publishing here the draft of her graduation speech. You’ll judge by yourself, this is the writing of a child who came to England with no knowledge of English in Year 1. She was unfortunate to be between the youngest in her grade. She was finally lucky arriving in Grade 8 (year 9 of the English system) to find THE teacher that could show her how to write. I am personally very proud of what she accomplished in every subject. Maths was her strength and to be honest, we could not believe she could improve so well her ‘Language Arts’. When I think she was told not being supposed to get more than 70% score on her tests as she was not in top set!!! It should be a criminal offense to limit that way a student’s progress.
This is not just for my self-satisfaction, I am hoping every parent will keep hope on their child and that teachers would admit there is potential of success in EVERY kid, unless the very exceptional cases, they just need to find how to engage their students and adapt their teaching to their learning style.
Believe to your learners and give them self confidence is the key to achievement.
Thank you so much Mrs B, Amy is so grateful for your help.

Graduation Speech

I was hurrying through the blue, unfamiliar hallway, looking for my reading class. I felt like I could leap out of the world and onto a foreign planet with the energy going through my body. Grade 5 at xxSKL was the start of a new world, coming from a traditional English Prep School. xxSKL was like arriving in a foreign and unfamiliar territory, even if it is a territory less than two kilometers from my house! When I got to the Reading Class, I was nervous and my heart started pumping quickly as the teacher called out my name with a smile on his face. I heard a soft voice, which was a student’s name for sure. It was a girl and then several other voices were going through my ears full of excitement and anticipation. I was puzzled as to why these strangers were actually talking to me, as things had been more formal in the old school. I turned my head slowly, failing to comprehend what they were trying to say and hoping that it wasn’t bad. When I finally got the courage to look at their expressions I noticed that their faces were glowing with joy and excitement as they said, ” Would you like to sit with us?” This was it; I was blissful and relieved because I felt like I had been truly accepted into the xxSKL 5th grade.

During my time at xxSKL, I have learnt a lot in maths, science, social studies and language arts but the main piece of information I have learnt cannot be taught. To me, the most important information can only be experienced; I have learnt about hard work and the success you get in return. As the successful company executive Bunker Hunt once said, “To be successful, you must decide exactly what you want to accomplish; then resolve to pay the price to get it.” It’s true that success comes at a price but in the end it is completely worth it. I have learnt that if you don’t work hard or at all you will feel guilt, which is a lot worse than actually doing the work. At the same time I have found that friendship is the key to fulfillment in life, especially at school where it is very important to be social and acquainted with everybody. As Helen Keller says, “ Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.” AtxxSKL I have had the opportunity to meet people from many different backgrounds and the chance to become friends with people from different parts of the world.

The French writer and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupery once said, “As for the future, your task is not to foresee it, but to enable it.” Right now, I don’t know what is heading my way but what I do know, is that I will find a way to deal with it to get where I want. We all have different goals and ambitions, and which we are capable of achieving – some independently but most together. I hope that each 8th Grader will be able to pursue their very own dream and that we will be able to share our achievements. Middle School was an adventure but that was just the beginning: now we have the tools and the opportunity to move on to High School. Even if we are just going across the Marble Hall it is a long journey. We will look down at Middle School as a distant memory, the place where it all began.”



  1. This my friend is an excellent blog post, and so glad you blogged about it. Very important read for all parents, teachers and anyone who works with children. I know you are so very proud. Quite inspirational.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by DebDobson, Marie-Andree Weiss. Marie-Andree Weiss said: RT @clarinette02 A criminal offense of 'denial of potential' – (Congrats to your daughter!) […]

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