Friday, June 27, 2008

My Son is not Bright - Photohunt

PhotoHunt : Bright

Do good grades determine how bright and worthy a child is?

When my son was in primary and secondary school, his teachers constantly complained about him not doing his homework. He was punished countless times for that. He was denied breaks and detained after school to complete his homework.

My husband and I punished him whenever the teachers complaint. When asked,"Why didn't you do the homework?" He replied it was too easy and therefore boring to repeat the same type of questions every time. Whenever a teacher gave him a surprise test, he could do it and pass. He was always the Top student in Chinese language in class.

For a year, an angry teacher named him 'Stupid' in class because he was always getting detention. His classmates laughed at him and followed the teacher's name calling. He used to come back with the word 'Stupid' scribbled on his uniform in coloured ink. A happy-go-lucky child, he just smiled and wasn't bother by the teasing. My husband stopped me from confronting his teacher and classmates. My heart aches even until today. He was only 8 then.

In a group of 23 during his school's educational exchange trip to China, he learnt fast and was not only able to finish his Chinese knot-making craft first, he helped the others complete theirs. He appeared on their local TV news. He was 14.

Jaymes with members of Lions Club (Fukuoka) on a private trip. The members are CEOs, Chairmen and Presidents of Japanese firms. He was 15. He was the youngest and only Singaporean youth on the trip. For his 12-day stay in Fukuoka, the members took turns to wine, dine and bring him sightseeing.

Meeting with the officers and Chief of Fire Brigade (Fukuoka). Later Jaymes toured the station, went through its fire-fighting course and was awarded a certificate.

Jaymes with the Mayor of Osaka who gave him Japanese crafts, made by his wife.

My son is not bright. His ambition is not to be a doctor or lawyer or architect........., he wants to be a chef.

My son is not bright. He tends to sleep whenever he opens his textbooks. But he has other talents which his teachers could not accept. As a parent, how do you feel when your child's form teacher told you in your face, "Your son is not Express-class (below average academically) material."?

My son is indeed not bright. He scores only 170 in Mensa International's IQ test.

Don't put down young children if they cannot score good grades in school. They are talented in other areas.


  1. I'm first!! Tmr meet at big splash? Got nuffnang event at 4pm :)

    Bright or not, he's a boy you'll be proud of :) He's a nice boy!! Happy for you.

  2. Hey hey!! I'm a chef too! Even though I chose to gave up my degree and went on to do what I love!
    Way to go Jaymes!! Would love to see more chefs in Singapore!!! Work hard!!

  3. Each child has his/ her talents and strengths. I am glad that Jaymes managed to find some of his. :)

  4. Well done Jaymes, you sure showed those teachers and ex-classmates. The old saying that one should not judge a book by its cover comes to mind. Very nice article.

  5. This is so true. Jaymes is really lucky to have parents like you and your husband. I believe this is how one can shine, brightly. :)

  6. i couldn't agree more with you. doesn't mean if one can't excel in one area means he/she is branded as stupid. there could be other area where could excel when others can't

    jaymes must be a lucky fella having such understanding parents :P

  7. From your story, I found out something. That is, parents are the most important persons in the world. They are the only persons still there when the whole world walk out!

  8. Haha! Throw the result slip onto the teacher's face. !@#$%^&* 170. Ask the teacher to kiss ur ass lor.

  9. i notice that some teachers are not as appreciative of other child's "talents" and that's really sad.
    am glad your son's proving them wrong! :)

  10. I think Jaymes is a talented boy and has a bright future. Hope he becomes a well famous chef someday.

  11. I agree with the others that Jaymes will have a bright future and is lucky to have the parents he has.

    Best wishes to Jaymes and to his wonderful Mom ECL.

    Cheers, Carver

  12. Look at Gordon Ramsey, Jamie Oliver. All GREAT chef!!

    Well done Jaymes.. Dare to be different :)

    Have a great weekend ECL!!.. Any Katong CC activities this weekend?

  13. i wish i can be a chef too.. i'm the one who's not bright... not your son...

  14. napaboaniya,
    Alamak!! I owe you so many hi-teas. how? How?

    I can't go to Big Splash as I'm meeting another blogger.

    I'm proud of my son, even though he is not bright lah. hehe...

  15. Thanks sher for your encouragement.

    I know a few chefs who have degrees. They are professionals in their own field and earning big bucks, working in exotic locations in the world and meeting famous people.

    I hope Jaymes would learn from chefs like you and many others who are proud of their career.

  16. oceanskies,
    Thanks. Jaymes knows what he wants at a young age. We exposed him to many people and industries since he was young. It does help him to make his choice of career.

  17. Thanks, sailor.

    Our education system is to blame, too much emphasis on academic results and neglecting the value and objective of an Education.

  18. huey,
    Educators and parents have to realise that each child is different. they have their own talent and capability. They should not be moulded like products in a factory.

  19. day-dreamer,
    I hope so. He is complacent and needs pushing. :)

  20. Thank you satkuru!

    Lucky Jaymes is too happy enjoying his childhood and having fun to bother too much about his teachers' and ex-classmates' teasing and taunts. :)

    Some kids might develop serious psychological problems.

  21. Molly,
    It's true. Parents need to set their own moral principles and have ideas on how to educate their kids. After all, they are the ones who understand their kids better. They must be supportive and be there to guide and show them the correct path.

  22. the horny bitch,
    Yes.... I have a good mind to do that. Maybe I should display the Mensa result in my blog and Jaymes'. hehe....

  23. maiylah,
    Some people are too rigid when defining 'success' or 'gifted' kids.

    Not only my son is proving them wrong, several of my students have proven their teachers and even parents wrong too. These kids are survivors of a harsh society. They should be applauded.

  24. Thank you heart of rachel!

    I know he will do his best as it is his passion. He has never been this happy, doing what he loves and getting much encouragement from his lecturers. :)

  25. Thanks Carver for your kind wishes!

    Jaymes will strive hard and make all those who believe in him proud... one day. :)

  26. LadyJava,
    Jaymes' in awe of Gordon Ramsey and hopes to be as good as him one day.

    Akan datang! Coming soon!

    We are going to have a wonderful excursion this Sunday, organised by Katong CC! Read my Weekend Snapshot! hehe....

  27. My rainbow angel,
    You no need to be a chef lah.... wait for my Jaymes to become a chef.... then you come and makan and give comments and blog. hehe....

    Want a godson?

  28. Gordon Ramsey eh.. ok.. akan dtg.. eh I played the game Hell's Kitchen and worked in the kitchen for him.. aiyoh as stressful as the reality show I tell you...lolzz!!

    Good luck Jaymes!

    And I'll be sure to be here on Sunday :)

  29. OK btw.. am here to vote for you.. Good luck.. No one wants to take me up at BotB lahh!!!

  30. ladyJava,
    Gordon Ramsey has his own Hell's Kitchen game? Where? Where?

  31. LJ,
    Thank you for your vote, sweetie. *muack muack*

    Pray that LJ gets a challenger soon, so I can vote. hehe....

  32. errr.. my husband download for me lahh.. i see if i can find where ok.. and let you know :)

  33. You are so right ECL!!! Great post :)

    Happy Photo Hunting!

    My entry is here

    Have a nice weekend!

  34. LJ,
    Thanks ah. If too troublesome, never mind. I can ask my son to find it.

  35. A BRIGHT future and great life awaits him!
    He's such a lucky boy to have such parents like you and yur hubby!

    All the best...


  36. It is very clear that Jaymes is a bright, shining star in your life!

    The teacher who called him "Stupid" in class should not be allowed around children.

  37. eastcoast, you are absolutely right! I can't believe the teacher treated him that way. In the U.S. the teacher would have had a lot of trouble!! Your son IS bright! It is obvious! :)

  38. Hey, wait a minute... you said that he scored 170? Are we talking about the same test here? I barely got 110! What the... I'll go hang myself...

  39. Go, Jaymes, go!! Yay yay!!! Yes, not all the boffins make it in the real world.. We still need the arts! And Steve Jobs was a dropout too..

  40. Go Jaymes! Follow your passion and you will continue to soar. Teachers told my son he was not bright, so I enrolled him in a school of the arts. This school's teachers encouraged my son, told him he WAS bright, and he now makes 3x a teacher's salary,
    doing what he loves.

    We all have our own gifts, and teachers should recognize the strengths of each student, not their perceived deficits.

  41. Kids with character or naughty are usually bright kids. Do you agree?

    Oh well, just my observation. Yupp also good grades are pretty obvious to know the bright kids.

    Nice take....

    Happy weekend!

  42. For me, if I were him I want to be just a normal boy. Actually he sacrified a lot of his personal life and did not have a happy life just because his is genies..

    Abstract Bright Theme today! Happy Hunting~

  43. Sounds very bright to me... too smart for his teachers, probably.. Go Jaymes!!

    This was a thought provoking post! Good take on the theme!!

  44. Your son is very bright! I bet those ex classsmates and teachers regret everything they said back then!

  45. I am a primary school teacher and I agree with you completely!!

    My son has never been anywhere near the top of his class but I am VERY proud of hom - please have a look at the top post on my blog above my PhotoHunt post. Thanks!

  46. Oh, ECL, I am misty-eyed. That teacher, is so...traditional and should not be a teacher.

    Congratulations to you Jaymes and to you too, proud Momma :)

    By the way, teachers should really know the concept of Multiple Intelligences and should remember that it is not just the school grades that make up a person.

    If you don't mind, I have written a post about that here:
    The Paideia Proposal

  47. I see lots of "pride and joy"s scattered around the "not bright"s in the post. This post has "showing off" all over its face. :)

    Congratulations on having a boy to be proud of!

  48. Tears well up in my eyes when I read this

    My son (now 7) always being called by teachers: Your son looks retarded, act retarded, cannot speak properly ...

  49. WOW! you must be very proud!!

    hey... have u seen kswoo's new flick? with s.s.heun! they're sooo hot! hehe!

  50. pearl,
    Thanks for your kind wishes.

    Jaymes is receiving good energy from all his wellwishers! :)

  51. daisy,
    I have the same thought... many kids are destroyed by such irresponsible remarks.

  52. the teach,
    The teacher is unlikely to be sued. Not in Asia, especially Singapore!

    The Ministry of Education in Singapore protects its teachers well. It has a big family policy that unites them to fight off any complaints. I was a target. :)

  53. ck,
    Yes, the same test. :)

    Some kids from Mensa Singapore get 180 wor!!

    Don't bother with the IQ score lah. You are an overseas graduate, my son is a chef. I let my son try the test to see if he is really that stupid. Both his parents are members of Mensa.

  54. lb!!

    Thanks for your encouraging words.

    Wish this world has more kinder people who praise and encourage others more than put them down.

  55. I have a Tag for you! Let travel the world and have fun together!
    Have a wonderful day!
    *HUGS* for your son!

  56. gran
    awww..... your son was also a victim. You can understand how hurting it is as a parent to hear such things of our own kids.

    It's fortunate our kids are tough and have our support. I pity those kids who have no one to turn for support and are 'beaten' by these cruel remarks.

    Glad that your son did well and show to the world he is a fighter.

  57. Haze,
    That's what some people say... naughty kids are bright. hehe....

    There is some truth. My son is just lazy and hasn't realised his full potential yet.

  58. The teacher would be in deep trouble if it happen here. Their not allow in any way to talk to a student in the class like that.

  59. keeyit,
    Jaymes prefers to be just himself... he isn't bother about what people think of him. He's happy and easily contented... like his Dad. :)

    He is definitely no genius...

  60. Thank you, ancient one for your encouragement to Jaymes.

    Glad that my post make people stop and think. I hope to create more awareness for kids who are deemed stupid and hopeless by certain people's standards.

  61. speak in doodles,
    I doubt they would regret. They would probably be more sarcastic and cynical. :)

  62. Hi leslie!
    Be there for him and no matter what others say, he is worth a lot to his family!

    As parents we support and provide him the ammunition for his fight, he needs to fight his own battles. It's going to be a struggle but he will be stronger and a better person.

    Best wishes.

  63. I just wanted to take on the world for him, as you do for Jaymes.

  64. julie,
    What I cannot understand is, the teachers in Singapore go through training and study child psychology and yet they can hurt their students with such irresponsible remarks.

    Complaints to schools concerned and MOE are ignored. Feedback from some parents who complained is their kids have a worse time in school! Gosh.

  65. buzzing j,
    For every negative remark and cruel teasing Jaymes received from those smart asses, he received as much love and recognition from people who are willing to give him a chance so he can release his potential in other ways.

    I'm showing off my son, and the wonderful people who believe in him .... to the world in this post.

  66. tigerfish,
    His ex-school teachers and principal didn't think he is bright wor. MOE also see him as slow, he was in Normal class.

  67. What a heartfelt story... thank you for sharing. As a parent, I feel your heartache and I admire your son so much for rising above all the difficulties he encountered and succeeding in life.

  68. yenjai

    You have to do something for your poor boy! A doctor's son is also not spared from ridicule! You see how serious this problem of verbal bashing children is in Asia.

    I bet there are more stories coming in.

  69. angela at mommy bytes,
    All kids can be stars! Even if they receive no help from their schools and the society.

    Parents need to prepare them for the harsh realities and toughen them....

  70. ettey,
    Yes, I'm proud of my son.

    I haven't had time to watch Kwon Sang Woo's latest movie. Heard about it though. Need to find my connections....

  71. kay,
    In Asia, it is different. Teachers are respected and supposed to be right no matter in what they do. If they scold or hit their students, it is for the good of them. No questions asked. :)

    Educated Asian parents are beginning to question this outdated thinking. More are getting vocal, like myself.

    Too many kids have been abused and they aren't even aware.

  72. gran,
    Yes, I do so want to take on his burdens but they are battles he has to fight by himself. Win or lose, he will learn a lesson.

  73. I agree with you on a child's mental strength. Not everyone are brainy to be a scientist but somehow there are others that he/she might excel in :)

  74. Yes being chef is a great job..Happy hunting!

  75. bonggamom,
    awwww..... Jaymes hasn't succeeded much.... he's still struggling and finding his footing.

    Let him fall a few more times and pick himself up.... that should toughen him. :)

  76. criz,
    Not every one is born a genius, enters prestigious universities, holds high posts and earns big bucks.

    There has to be people to work in different industries and for these people, they can be successful in their own fields without having been through universities or even having an education.

  77. I am so sorry your son went through that kind of awful treatment from teachers and classmates! I think he s very bright if he learns that quickly. Not everyone's talents are in "book learning." I think your son has the talent and personality to do great things. Being a chef is a wonderful talent to share with people. People love to eat great food!

  78. WOW! I have no words for the way your child was treated, by a TEACHER! WOW! that is disgusting.
    I am glad that he made it through, and is doing well.
    happy weekend!

  79. That's the hardest part, you know. Not fighting their battles :)

  80. But I think what my son went through has made him the terrific father he is today.

  81. I think that's how our Asian education works. You won't find that kind of discriminating treatment in the west. But I might be wrong.

    That happens to in Indonesia where I went to school. Students are divided into two groups. The smart (academic-wise) ones and rich ones. The rest falls in ... err ... not even considered.

  82. I love this post ECL! How is Jaymes doing btw? :)

    I'm very angry with that "Stupid" teacher la, some more he was only 8 yrs old then! :(:(:(

    I hope Jaymes will become a famous chef one day, have a great weekend ECL! :)

  83. If being the yongest boy in a delegation like that is not bright then what is? Those teachers calling students stupid are the ones who are not brightm they shouldn't teach in the first place, since your boy find them boring...

    Have a bright weekend! Keep shining!

  84. I could well thought you were talking about me! My report cards always read "Your daughter is not bright". I hated school because it was boring. I wanted to be a musician but my parents thought that's for stupid people (don't ask).

    I'm still stupid, according to my parents, because I have a job that doesn't require much brain power and I turned down a higher paying job for this current one. I'm happier though...

    I'm still stupid despite scoring above 170 on the Mensa test.


  85. LOL! Perfect entry for today's theme... The best part? Probably being able to portray such a respectable, ethical, intelligent, That's still pretty rare in the business... mine's up too hope you can drop by,,,,

  86. ECL, I left a comment at the "pencuri" blog to remove my pics, and today the post is gone YAY! :)

  87. Grades have their importance, but the real success factor is the work the child is prepared to put in. A brilliant kid who just eases thru school will one day get into trouble because he isn't used to working for it, while a less than brilliant child who is used to working hard, will find ways of working their way out of trouble. JMHO.

  88. He seems a wonderful boy. It's unfortunate that some teachers are so structured they cannot see what talents their students have. You're one proud mama and you should be! :)

  89. Thanks for the great topic!

    You made me feel so guilty because I wanted princess to be a doctor and she actually told my mum that she wanted to be a Doctor because she wants me to be happy...

    I am so selfish...

  90. As an ex-teacher and now private tutor, I TOTALLY can understand your sentiments! It's our system that has bred generations after generations of parents and children who think that self worth is linked only to one's academic achievements. Sigh.

    After reading your entry, I'm reminded of my mom who'd spent a lot of her time developing my asethetics when I was younger which I only began to rediscover after I have left teaching. Thanks for the reminder! :)

  91. I couldn't agree more! A child's future is not dictated by the academic grades, but it is the determination and his/her natural talents that bring the bright future.

  92. jaymes is lucky to have supportive parents like you and chris.
    he looks so cool in high company. he is destined for big things. am so happy for you. :)

  93. Hi Eastcoastlife,

    Dun worry, your son is bright! The educational system is Singapore is just too rigid, certain category of very bright kids cannot conform to this system.

    My daughter (10) was just an average student in Singapore, she was so shy that I once thot she could have asperger. After migrating to Australia for just a year, she managed to bag a scholarship to a prestigious private school here.

    She was a nervous wreck in SG because she was so fearful of her teachers in school most of the time. Because she is very gifted in visual art, she is also highly sensitive and emotional and certain approach in SG didn't work on her.

    Cheers and good luck to your family!
    Just me

  94. He may not be bright, but he's very talented.

  95. It's not easy to be different. It's neither easy to accept differences. But glad you made a post that allows us to know it's okay to be different from what the society deemed 'normal'. Jaymes is sure proud to have supportive parents with him.

  96. Jaymes mustn't let one definition of "bright" steer his life. There are so many different ways to be bright. He obviously has incredible talents and a great future. Well done Jaymes!

  97. I think you have a very bright young boy there. It's unfortunate his teachers were unable to recognize it. He is going to have a bright future ahead of him and make you even prouder.

    Happy hunting!

  98. My son H is not bright too but he can cook so well and is on his way to be a chef. Don't judge a child on his academic performance. Many successful people don't even have a degree....Best wishes to Jaymes.

  99. Your son is bright in so many ways but most of all he is the brightness in your eyes GREAT POST

  100. What a great contribution to the theme and I think it proves that it takes a Mom to understand their kids the right way. I'm glad you supported him in stead of criticising him and see what you get. You've all the reason to be proud!

  101. woohoo, glad to see that jaymes is really well now.

    btw, i have an award for you

    see yah.

  102. You call that 'not bright'? No way! He's as bright as a twinkling star! :)

  103. What a lovely blog! It looks like your son has inspired so many! Do other kids who may be in a similar situation a favour..take all your son's accomplishments to his school and THROW (well, not literally) them in their face. I would even let the school board know and write a very public letter to the whole community.
    NO ONE and definitely NO teacher or parent should ever label a kid stupid!!
    I hope you let your son read all the comments here and it'll make his head swell, and I'll say it's about time!! Great job!
    P.S. Gordon Ramsey, great chef, but not so good as a role model unless he rinses his mouth out with soap(he's lucky I'm not his mum!).

  104. Oops, forgot one more thing....if any teacher puts your kid down, remember "Those who can, do; those who can't, TEACH"!
    Btw, that's from my dad, a retired teacher!

  105. There sure different in cultures or I should say how one behaves toward others.
    I sure didn't get good grades in school and I'll tell you people with high IQ aren't everything.
    A least I have common sense "I know when to come out of the rain"

    When I was in first grade in mid 60. Our teacher want us to draw a picture of what we want to be and I want to be an astronaut and when I showed the class the just laugh.
    At that time girls were limited to a very few things.

    My picture is up.

  106. Hi to you
    I do think you hit the Nail: Bright

    Have a wondeful Sunday

  107. Hey, you must be very proud of your son. You are right, scores at school don't mean nothing. It is a system that needs to be overhauled in a global civilization level.

    So, when can we taste Jaymes's food in a restaurant? Can't wait for that. If he is already "cheffing" in a restaurant, please let me know, I would love to check out the food.

  108. i agree! it's not always IQ there's also EQ.

    congratulations to him!

  109. He is definitely a bright boy! The teacher is the stupid one! Sad to say there are such teachers around.

    Jaymes is very blessed to have you and your hubs as his parents and likewise too.

    Sorry I didn't turn up that as las mins I have something to attend to. :)

  110. Singapore has a very cruel and elitist system to weed out all but the most dedicated. Your son would be more valued in a different education system. Teachers would be put under performance management and potentially dismissed if they tried those tactics here in Australia.

  111. Hi, eastcoastlife. :)

    I'll agree that grades aren't everything.

    (My grades were pretty bad at school, and in my late 20s I had to go back and do various exams again so I could get into University).

    Einstein, regarding grades, was fairly bad at school. Lots of people who are now regarded as geniuses got bad grades, often because they were bored with the pace and the repitition of the teaching and wanted to cut straight to the interesting stuff.

    Agreed. Grades - not the full story.

    So here's the question:

    *How* can we change schools and education systems so that grades aren't as important anymore? What's the alternative?

  112. Becoming bored when doing homework is something my family knows all too well, with at least 4 members in 3 different generations having experienced it. Teachers know only the routine stuff, which is boring. They only understand routine people, which are boring. Hold on to your dreams and goals Young Man ! For you are not "stupid", you are "spark". You are not the candle, you are the lighter.

  113. How true it is!
    everyone should has his or her own talent. it is sad that our society is much emphasize on academic achievement.
    Conglatulations on you and your son has won top 10 list of omysgblogawards 2008! :)

  114. It wasnt until I left Singapore for Perth that I realized how academically materialistic Sg is. So what if you don't have good grades in school? Just wanna remind teachers how many top scorers in school fail in society because of low EQ and lack of other skills.

    If you wanna get good grades, just stay at home and revise and memorise all the formats for the exams? What's so tough about that?

    But it's the other skills you learn in life that make up who you are.

    To your son: Don't be bother by the comments narrow minded teachers make. Only listen to the ones who believe in you. :)