What Glenn did for the love of self-belief
In my first year as a year five teacher, I had a little girl in my class called Mabel. School didn’t come easily to Mabel, and she struggled with quite a few things, which over time led her to become a bit despondent.
She’d lost the magic of school. I knew I had to do something to try and turn that around. So, when she did something and it wasn’t quite right, or I thought she was struggling with it, I’d go to her and say, “Don’t worry, you’re Able Mabel, you can do this”. Then, she’d look back at me and say “I’m Able Mabel”.
We did this for a while and I started to notice a bit of change in Mabel’s attitude. Even when she was struggling I’d spot her whispering to herself, “I’m Able Mabel, I’m able to do this”, and in the end, she left year five fairly happy. I didn’t realise the impact this simple phrase had on Mabel until she left year six. It was the final day of school and she came to my classroom and gave me a letter from her parents.
The letter expressed their deep gratitude and explained how those few words turned Mabel’s thinking around. It gave her the confidence she was lacking and ultimately led to her achieving more at school than they thought possible.
“As teachers, we have to pause and realise that we actually have the power to change children’s lives.”
That totally knocked me, this was the first real affirmation I’d had that I’d made such a huge impact on a child’s life. It wasn’t anything flash or fancy that I’d done, it was something simple. As teachers, we have to pause and realise that we actually have the power to change children’s lives.