Comments from Paul Tazumi (Mr. T), Director of Juku Learning Centres and Camp Juku.

Online Classes vs Traditional Classes

Parenting is tough!  You are learning with the kids, and by the time you know all the tricks to being a parent, you have no more kids.  You get one chance to navigate your child through the turmoil of academics and growing up proper.  It’s a journey through a one-way tunnel.  Grade 2, soon becomes grade 3…which soon becomes grade 9.  There is no time for second-guessing, “could of”, “would of”, or “should of”.

This is where I come in.  I have not only brought up my two sons, but I have conversed with thousands of parents and children.  Most of it was through tutoring classes and summer camps

I used to offer a free seminar for parents to listen to me give out my top ten observations on how to bring up academically focused children.  It was sparsely attended…oh well.  I now torture my summer camp students with daily rants that end with a message,  Usually one of the ten observations.

Here is my number one observation.  It is a saying that I repeat daily to my students.

Be Fearless!

I have taught for over 25 years and I can see even in grade 2 who is going to be successful.  It is the one child who is willing to ask questions, show their work, stand up and read, volunteer to help, try new things, and is willing to fail.

I know it is cliché to say, you learn by your mistakes.  Edison made 1000 attempts before he invented the light bulb. Some say he failed 1000 times, but Edison said it was 1000 steps along the way.

The great one, hockey’s greatest player of all time, Wayne Gretzky aptly said, “you will miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”  This means there is no learning or success without taking chances.


As US president, Roosevelt said during WWII, “There is nothing to fear, but fear itself!”.

This summer in another teacher’s public speaking class, the teacher was having difficulty getting the kids to just read something they wrote about an item in the room.  Some stood up and some refused to read their story.  I just happened to be in the room.  When this one girl who I knew was a great writer refused to read, I had to step in.

I told the class that, I know that it is hard, it is a major fear for many, but speaking out loud is important, as important as writing.  No one knows who you are or how you think unless you express yourself.  And, this is the best place to start.  You just met your campmates, your parents aren’t here, there are no marks, and your teachers aren’t real teachers.  This is the best opportunity to try and even if you fail, who cares.  You are at a camp.  Everyone is supportive and wants to have fun.  Each person here has public speaking fears.  I get it’s scary, but at some point that fear will go away…why not take the baby step now.”

After my rant, everyone took turns and did well, except for one person.  A friendly shy guy who looked confident.  But, after his opening sentence, he really struggled, then he froze for a painfully long time.  I was about to pull the plug, when a student, another quiet guy, started clapping.  Then the whole class started clapping.  No comments, just clapping.  The student started reading again, even looking up.  When he did another awkward pause, everyone started clapping again.  It was touching, yet comical and everyone felt it.  I give fearless-credit to the student for making it through his writeup, but I give more fearless-credit to the boy who started the clapping.


Another anecdote is a student who wanted to get into Unionville’s prestigious art program.  He prepared his portfolio, wrote a letter, had references, but he never handed it in.  Although some of his less artistic friends got in, he thought he would not get in.  I saw his artwork, I almost cried.  Somewhere along the way, no one instilled in him that if you do not try, you will not succeed.


He did not try, he failed.  He knew it, I knew it.  I let him know that there is virtue in failing.

Failure builds character.  You self-reflect and analyze what you have to do to prevent repeating the mistakes.

Failure builds compassion.  You can understand and learn from those who have failed.  It makes you a better leader.

Failure builds resilience.  It makes you tough and ready to bounce back from any setbacks.  You will preserve.

Failure builds creativity.   You look for alternative solutions.  You think out of the box. Evolve your approach to reaching your goals.

Fear of failure is even worse than failure itself.   Fear prevents you from trying. Trying prevents you from learning. And learning allows you to make a proper analysis and intelligent decisions that will improve your chances of success.

Be Fearless!


Thanks for reading.