This post isn’t really related to Christmas, but I think it’s a really important thing to discuss.
Personally, I think that the idea of “asking for help” is something that scares a lot of people. At school, especially, is sort of the place where this fear can set in. You don’t want to ask a seemingly simple question, because you don’t want to come across as “stupid”, so you just suffer in silence.
For me, these subjects were the “academic” subjects, like Maths and Physics and Chemistry… which in itself is ridiculous, because why is it that these subjects are for “clever people”? There isn’t anything that defines how clever you are or aren’t- scientific subjects certainly aren’t something to judge people by. It’s just the fact that your strengths aren’t the same as your best friend’s strengths, and vice versa. From primary school, all the way up to year eleven, I hated these subjects because I was a bit slower at doing the sums, because it just took me that much longer. Whereas with English, I got it instantly. And it was hard, because two of my best friends are taking scientific subjects at A-levels, because they want to be Doctors, which is great, don’t get me wrong. But sometimes I just feel a bit daunted with all this information that they’re talking about in a way that sounds like I should be understanding it, but I just don’t. And sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t ask them to explain it because I think that the way that they’re talking about it is the easiest way to explain it, so I just leave it at that.
But going back to actual lessons, and asking the teacher for help, I was often too scared to put my hand up even when I knew the answer because I was so scared of getting it wrong. I didn’t want people to laugh at me. I would never make eye-contact with the teacher, in case they picked on me, and the whole class would be waiting in silence, and all that would be going through my head was “Oh God everyone’s looking at me, Oh God they must think I’m such an idiot, this must be the simplest question in history and I don’t know the answer…” and the worst part is when the teacher tries to help. They try and say “Well if A=B, then what’s C?”. I still didn’t know the answer, so they’d either let someone else answer, or tell the class the answer in a really disappointed tone. If that doesn’t put someone off answering a question in maths, I don’t know what will.
The reason I wanted to talk about this, is because I don’t know why people are so scared of asking for help. I would often just wait for the teacher to come to me and help me while the class was doing the work, rather than ask a question in front of everyone. I preferred having that one-on-one help, because the teacher could then explain it to me in a way that I wouldn’t feel intimidated by.
I suppose this could be a bit like when you’re on a family holiday, and your dad won’t ask for directions because he’s “sure he knows the way there”, but maybe it’s just a confidence thing, you know?
I know there’s nothing wrong with asking someone for help. With the subjects I’m taking now, I feel more confident than ever, and there’s no problem when it comes to asking what we’re actually supposed to be doing.
I don’t know. I thought I should just put it out there to let the teachers of the internet take some advice? Or… I don’t know… I just thought that it was an important thing to discuss really.