An encouraging word is a ministry all by itself, and it’s one we can all engage in.
Sabith Khan is a professor at a university in Southern California. But two years ago, he also became a student when he signed up for online Arabic classes offered by an Egyptian company.
The class was a one-on-one learning experience, conducted over Zoom. And early on, Khan told his teacher that he had struggled in previous attempts to learn the language.
“We are all students, my friend,” his teacher said. “Don’t worry; I am here to teach you. You are a very hardworking student, and it is my pleasure to help you.” It felt strange to Khan to take on the role of a vulnerable student in need of help. But his teacher eased his discomfort, complimenting him for his efforts and the smallest progress. Hearing praise from his tutor’s lips made him surprisingly happy and confident, and that led him to consider that perhaps he had been too stingy in praising his own students, believing that excessive praise “made students complacent, even lazy.”...
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