Every child is a gem unpolished

I say every child is a gem unpolished. Yes, u heard me right. Unpolished. Whether or not, the child excels in his/her studies, they are still unpolished gems.

Polishing requires enjoying trials, problems, success, and experiences in life every day. Polishing requires building castle in the air and putting foundations below them. Polishing requires practice of pushing oneself up after a fall, brushing the dust off and stand tall to fight again.

I hate to say that today’s kids are not exposed to much polishing until much later stage in life which make failures harder for them to swallow.

Our children are not ‘spoiled’. They are just ‘unpolished’.

I have a student who does not have a pencil and yes, he does not even has a pencil case. He rushes through all his questions and always ends up not answering what the question want. He seldom passes his Mathematics and he has little confidence in clearing one. I have no qualms on his ability (in fact for most of my students). This boy and many of my students just have bad habits and no procedures to make learning easier.

Although i loathe SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) during my corporate years, i definitely see the effectiveness and benefits of the habit of adhering to these SOPs. I started to put up a few SOPs for this boy and both the tutor and tutee struggle in the first few months.  🙁

Thank God. This boy started to pass his examinations with flying colours. And he started to believe more in my SOPs. Yes!


We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit. – Aristotle

3 thoughts on “Every child is a gem unpolished

    • Hi Elston, apologises for the late reply. Has been busy with my students. 🙂
      One of the SOP i did with most of my tuition kids is to draw up certain rules for each other at the first lesson. Let them sign on it with me (Drip some blood etc. Haha. Just kidding on the blood part. ;-P ) and enforce that they honour it. Means they have no excuse not to complete their homework or “ANYHOW” do their work.

      Most of the SOPs are customized for each child because their behaviour is different. Some are very particular about the colour of pen they used for different subject and some do not even have a pencil or ruler. :-S

      Basically, the SOPs are so-called procedures and steps they have to follow if they keep making certain mistakes in specific area of work ( i.e If they often make mistake with the signs of algebra, they have to expand the terms one-by-one instead of doing them mentally, thus making the same careless mistakes).

      The difficult part is to get the students to adhere to the SOPs before they see any results. Good thing is we always get to celebrate during harvest time. 🙂

  • “Fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times”.
    Imagine if SMRT had practised their crisis SOPs a few times before the incident
    and imagine if they had learned and amended accordingly too

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