“He just thinks he’s a bit pants”, his mum said.
Not at anything in particular, not at one specific activity or subject, but in general.
That’s the problem.
That’s what’s persuaded her to book a call with me.
“I just feel he’s ‘pre-crisis’ ”, she added, “it’s such a delicate age…”
“There is a burgeoning beauty in him and I just don’t want him to crash…”
Arlo’s been playing the class clown at school because he’s bored and distracted. He got sent out a few weeks’ back for shouting ‘penis!’ the loudest. He can’t pick a favourite subject when I ask him, he's just not interested in schoolwork. He's in Year 9.
He doesn’t have many friends outside of school though, preferring to ‘hole up’ and game in his room rather than socialise. His mum tried ‘frog-marching’ him into some after school clubs a while back but learned her lesson with that approach there and then.
And now here we are and he’s telling me all sorts: about the ferrets they used to have, the cats they still have and the rats they are going to get. Currently, they are looking after someone else’s rat for a few weeks, and when he mentions this he suddenly jumps up and runs out the room shouting to his mum, “I’m showing Henry the rat!!”
I’ve only known him three weeks but already the relationship is rich and developed. It feels like we have known each other for much longer. The trust and openness that is required is there and the atmosphere of our connection is slowly pervading all of our weeks, his, mine, his mum’s. I know that so much will build from this.
We are just getting into algebra, since he brought up the fact, of his own accord, that he wasn't understanding this at school. This is giving us a way to dig into Maths processing, within the context of this trusted, easy-going and open relationship, one that is empowering his own self-direction and avoiding coercion at all costs. The 'Maths Mindset Module', a cornerstone of the 12-Week Mentorship Programme for many students, addresses the causes of all 'silly mistakes', exploding the myths that are near-universal in students' minds: quickest is best (even if you're only 70% right), working it all out in your head is better than working it through on paper, writing takes too much time and is slower, you don't have time in a test / exam to think etc.
So Maths is becoming our ‘practical vehicle’, our purposeful activity, alongside the beautiful and powerful mentoring relationship. And once we've embedded this new approach to Maths - taking care, giving ourselves to the subject, feeling the satisfaction and growth - the tide begins inevitably to turn for other subjects, for school itself and for interests in other areas of life. Interest in general is rekindled and the opportunity for true reward - missed through the grand avoidance, the lack of confidence in truth, of the class clown - presents itself time and again and from now on will increasingly be embraced not shunned.Enter your text here...
Another student I met with yesterday, who i’ve been working with since March, is a case in point of this transformation playing out. His mum extended beyond the 3-month mark because the results were stunningly obvious to us all and there was just no sense in stopping. When I met Matthew, he didn’t know how to revise, felt totally overwhelmed (and simply didn’t know what to do about it), he couldn’t organise himself or focus and he needed some much improved results in his Y10 exams even just to be accepted into Y11 at his independent school.
Well he’s in Y11 now (so he made it 🙂 and he is the one telling me now when he wants to get on with some Maths! We had got into a detailed discussion about hisA Level & Sixth Form choices... This kind of drive, intentionality and focus on any of his subject content was truly inconceivable 6 months ago. I leave all parents messages after every session now and with Matthew's mum these days I am just just basking in the radiance of who he has become in my feedback, glowing with the satisfaction of seeing him emerge so powerfully in this way!
He exudes maturity, responsibility, enjoyment and engagement with everything to do with school and life now. Back in the Spring the entire family (and school) were in a hole that none of them knew how to get out of.
As Arlo's mum put it when she tried to reframe my offer to me, “so you just kind of find your way into what is there and nourish that from the ground up…?”
That is one way of putting it! 🙂
You too can book a call with me here and look to achieve the same results with your child through the 12 Week Mentorship Programme. I would love to help you all out of the same kind of hole if you are in one right now...
Looking forward to meeting you,