Dear Students,
I am writing this because of something I, unintentionally, overheard today and it broke my heart.

There’s something I’d like all of you to know:

Many of you probably think you are stupid.
I don’t know why you do.
I’m so sorry that you do.

But, You Are Not Stupid.

Needing tuition for one subject does not make you stupid.
Needing tuition for more than one subject does not make you stupid.
Needing tuition for every single subject does not make you stupid.
Not understanding what your teacher says in class does not make you stupid.
Not understanding what is being taught, when everyone else does, does not make you stupid.
Not knowing something that everyone else seems to know does not make you stupid.
Not being gifted does not make you stupid.
Having a learning disability does not make you stupid.
Being a slow learner does not make you stupid.
Being a late bloomer does not make you stupid.
Having a strength that isn’t assessed in our very strict and structured educated system in Singapore does not make you stupid.

You Are Not Stupid.

You are who you are – you are good enough.
You’re on a path to become a better version of yourself, over and over again.
You have your strengths – if you don’t know what they are, then you’re also on a journey to find out what they are.
You have your weaknesses – you will learn to manage them, or even, overcome them.
You don’t know everything; you can’t know everything – you can always find out more, in your own time.

But, You Are Not Stupid.

Here’s what behaving stupidly is:

  • Knowing you have exams coming up and leaving everything to the last minute;
  • Knowing you don’t know something, and not finding out because you cannot be bothered to;
  • Being irresponsible about your studies and your future.

You get the gist. However, do note, this would be you behaving stupidly. It still does not make you stupid. And the wonderful thing about behaving stupidly is that it is temporary. The choice is yours to make a change right now. And whether you make the change now or later, one thing does not change:

You Are Not Stupid.

I hope that this helps you to understand just how perfectly acceptable you are. You are, as a whole, good enough. Sure, there might be areas that need polishing, and sure, there might be some areas that could be changed. However, you are still good enough.

With much love and heartache,
Teacher Jo

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