Not Being Judgmental (On Education)

The student kept resting his head on the desk.

"Jason, why did you fail this quiz? Are you okay?"

"I'm okay."

"You've got to work harder if you wish to study at NTU/NUS. Got to put in more effort." The encouragement slipped out before he could consider if it was apt.

It felt a little strange, to be trusted with precious information. He had asked the few students sitting closer to him if they wanted to pursue university education. It was a simple question (at least, he thought so). They shyly shared their wishes.

Has this student even told other people about his academic aspirations? After all, he was not from the Express stream and there were fewer people expecting and encouraging him to pursue higher education. Was it insensitive to talk about this after the student received his quiz results? Was it even right to speak of what he had privately shared?

The kid certainly seemed bright. So why were his grades lacklustre? Laziness? Hmm, what a waste.

He casually mentioned the student in a conversation with more experienced teachers.

The details were revealed in pieces; each piece was a sharp fragment of coloured glass, crystalline yet cutting, refractive yet revealing.

Jason was working. He once served his teacher dinner in a restaurant. His family was in less advantaged circumstances. He was in the school's mentoring program because of certain reasons.

Note to self:

Sometimes, the problem lies not with the people, but with their situations. Judge wisely, judge slowly. Snap judgments are unfair.

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