Educators (whether parents or teachers) help students (whether sons, daughters or pupils) under a necessary condition: the main target of education is the student, and all external help the student can get for him or herself is detrimental. Giving unnecessary help is equivalent to overprotecting the student and exempting him or her from the necessary efforts and exercise of his or her will power, which is the foundation of his or her education.
Educators are the guiding counselors of a student’s education by helping them develop their potential to the maximum possible (i.e. help discover what they already have inside), and overcome their limitations (whether academic or personal), as well as guide them towards their path through the consistency of our own lives, with permanent values and virtues, as well as our authority and example.
The mission of an educator should lead to the effort of giving the good example, understand students, and guide them with caution.
What are the factors that indicate to us when we can and must give them such necessary help? Fundamentally three:
1. Know the student. Each student is different from those of the same age group and from his or her siblings. Each of them has their own potentials and limitations. Educators must start from what the student already possesses and try to progress from there. Educators should not help a student with what they are capable of doing by themselves, but with what they cannot do by themselves.
2. Guide the student through words, but most of all through examples, without forgetting the importance of knowing how to listen.
3. Exercise authority in its facets of power and service, by taking opportunistic decisions, demanding with prudence, and implementing a system of rewards and punishments oriented to the development of a student’s well being.
(Translated by Gianna A. Sanchez Moretti).