All children have a talent. Sometimes they have several. You make your mark on the world by passionately pursuing what you are good at.
When I first entered primary school I had great problems learning to write and this had an impact on everything I did in the classroom. Because I struggled to write, I was seen to be “backward”. Because I became upset, I was seen to be unstable. Because I reacted negatively to the way I was treated, I was seen to be difficult.
Why couldn’t I write? I am profoundly left-handed and, at that time, lots of people didn’t believe it was natural to favour your left hand. Unfortunately, my teacher was one of the skeptics.
Later on, I did not do terribly well with the IQ test (known as the 11-plus) that determined you fate in high school. An antipathy towards formal learning has dogged me throughout my life although it has been shown on several occasions that I have a stellar IQ and would be considered to be academically gifted on the basis of contemporary criteria. People call me “bookish”.
It seems natural that I have come to be fascinated by how the brain works and how people learn (or don’t as the case may be). I am a devotee of Howard Gardner’s multiple-intelligences approach to education and I share Sir Ken Robinson’s desire for a global revolution in schooling that creates the circumstances in which natural talents and passions can emerge.