“Oliver, how did you get be so wise?” Hilda the Happy Hippo asked.
“I learn like most people do,” Oliver said, “from school, our teachers, parents, grandparents, and friends. I also learn from the mistakes I make and the things I’m not so successful at.”
“Can you give me an example, Oliver?” Said Hilda.
“Sure, Hilda!” Replied Oliver.
“A few years ago, I really struggled in school, especially with math. When the teacher would be explaining how to do the problem, my brain just could not sort and process the information she was giving. I just couldn’t keep up. My hands would get sweaty and I’d get a big knot in my stomach when Miss Oak would start giving directions.
I never finished my work in class so I had to take it home. All my friends could play outside after school, but I was stuck inside doing homework. My mom tried to help me with it, but that didn’t go so well and I fell further and further behind. I was so frustrated and felt like a failure! All of my other owl friends thought math was easy, so I thought something was wrong with me.
Then, I met Olivia the Owl. She was a math tutor. Olivia told me that when you get nervous or stressed about something, your brain just freezes up, and you can’t think. Feeling frustrated and kind of sick is something that happens when you are stressed.
Olivia took the time to help me figure out how I learn best and then explained things to me so I could understand them. She also taught me that math homework is just practice to give me stronger math skills. The more I practiced, the easier math got.
Olivia explained the reason I felt like a failure, was because I had a negative attitude about math. She said, when you think you can’t do something, you can’t! What you need is a positive attitude!
So, I started to talk to myself! I told myself I could do the math. Every time I got a problem correct, it made me feel more confident. The more I practiced, the better I got at math. Then, I started using the tools Olivia taught me in other areas of my life and something magical happened! Things started to get easier for me all around. I felt better about myself. I did better in all my school subjects. I made friends easier. Life just got better!”
“Oliver,” Hilda said, “I am so glad you shared your story with me. Lately, I have been having a hard time with science and didn’t know who to ask for help. I’m nervous to say anything, and afraid someone will think I’m stupid.”
“Tomorrow, I am going to ask my teacher for help and I am going to try really hard to change my attitude about science. I have no doubt that I can better at science with practice and keeping a positive attitude!”
“Thanks Oliver! Now, I know why they call you Oliver the Wise Owl!”
Is there a subject in school you struggle with?
Have you asked your teacher for extra help?
What would make you confident enough to ask for help?
Do you know someone who struggles in a subject you are good at? How could you help them?
What negative thoughts do you have about school? How could you change them to positive thoughts?
What can I do to help you?