Head of Senior School
Turn negatives into positives
Growing up in the 90’s I revered Michael Jordan as an incredible basketball player and athlete. Whilst I followed Jordan, basketball wasn’t where my gifts lay. I didn’t have the finesse or the silky shooting and ball skills required for the game. I’d get fouled off the court in most games I played!
In July of 1993, Jordan’s father was murdered. The event caused him to question his career and all that went along with it. Unexpectedly, Jordan retired from basketball during his prime to play Major League Baseball. My mates and I couldn’t believe it but still expected him to dominate in baseball too. However, the experiment didn’t really work out. After a year and a half he returned to basketball. The experience did teach him a lot about himself and basketball. He had even greater success upon his return! When speaking about the death of his father to a reporter, Jordan spoke about one of his more famous quotes, “my dad always taught me to turn a negative situation into a positive situation, and that’s what I decided to do.”
While our negatives might be better or worse than someone else’s, no one is immune to negative things happening in their life. Look no further than the coronavirus and the mixture of experiences we’ve had. As we now consider the future, we are encouraging our students to look past some of the hardships they may have experienced and grasp the positives associated with their learning. Some of these positives may not have been apparent at the time to students, because learning by yourself can be hard as you need to motivate yourself and can’t rely on others to help as much. You’ve also got to keep yourself on track and work to solve your own problems with limited help.
It may be the development of an improved attitude of persistence, a better ability to focus, an increased sense of personal responsibility for learning or perhaps greater willingness to adopt more guidance and direction from teachers and tutors. I am without doubt as a result of this situation, which no one wanted, students will have developed some learning dispositions at an earlier stage of their life than they might have otherwise.