One day, I went to a class in the first grade of a German elementary school. They are learning geography. A world map hangs on the blackboard. The name of the country is not marked on it, but animals, plants or buildings related to that country are drawn. The teacher asked the children to find Germany. Every child raised their hands. A girl was invited to the blackboard. She easily picked up the pointer and clicked to the middle of the place where a Brandenburg gate was painted. I also learned after I went abroad that the world map of each country is different, because everyone puts their country in the middle of the map.
It must be because of me, then the teacher asked the children to look for China. This problem is difficult. There are only three children raising their hands, two boys and one girl. The teacher invited the three children to the blackboard together and asked them to discuss it before telling the class a correct answer.
The three children clearly disagreed. A boy pointed his finger directly to the bottom Antarctica, and a boy pointed to Japan on the far left of the map. The girl was very sure, pointing at the place where the panda was painted. The three children whispered a few words, unified their opinions, and then turned to face everyone. The teacher asked the little Antarctic boy to announce the answer to the class. The boy took the teacher’s pointer and placed it heavily on the panda, saying loudly, “Here!”
The teacher also said “right” loudly and took the lead to applaud. The three children returned to their seats radiantly with applause.
After class, I asked the teacher, why did the first question let one child go to the podium, and the second question let three children go to the podium at the same time? The teacher said, first, because there are not many children raising their hands in the second question, those who dare to raise their hands should be encouraged. Second, she knew that the first boy certainly did not know the answer, and whether the second boy knew it, she was not sure. However, the girl definitely knows the answer because her father has been to China. Third, and most important, the first boy likes to raise his hand the most, but he answers wrong every time. Therefore, she should provide him with an opportunity to get it right. Finally, she said, the answer to the question is not important. What is important is that the teacher standing on the podium should look for every opportunity to praise the child and improve the child’s self-confidence. She said proudly that today she finally found a good opportunity.
Life is like a sailing ship, and people’s self-confidence is the white sail on that ship.