Terrence Tao’s Advice

 

 

If you decide you don’t have to get A’s, you can learn an enormous amount in college.”

— Isidor Isaac Rabi


I found Terrence Tao’s  views on mentoring children useful. “Firstly, one should not focus overly much on a specific artificial benchmark, such as obtaining degree X from prestigious institution Y in only Z years, or on scoring A on test B at age C..Of course, one should still work hard, and participate in competitions if one wishes; but competitions and academic achievements should not be viewed as ends in themselves, but rather a way to develop one’s talents, experience, knowledge, and enjoyment of the subject..Secondly, I feel that it is important to enjoy one’s work; this is what sustains and drives a person throughout the duration of his or her career, and holds burnout at bay. It would be a tragedy if a well-meaning parent, by pushing too hard (or too little) for the development of their child’s gifts in a subject, ended up accidentally extinguishing the child’s love for that subject. The pace of the child’s education should be driven more by the eagerness of the child than the eagerness of the parent.”

 

 

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