“Change” is usually challenging for all age groups. For young children, this change is often experienced in the form of getting promoted to one class from another. This transition can be tricky for a lot of children since it signifies change of classroom, change of environment, change of subjects and teachers and in some cases even a change in one’s batch mates.
These sublime uncertainties and challenges can easily impact a child’s self-confidence. As a school it is very important to acknowledge.
Below mentioned are a few ideas/tips for parents, teachers and students to acknowledge these changes and have an enriching school year.
Tips for Children:
• Plan Ahead: Take a look at the syllabus beforehand and familiarize yourself with learning goals and objectives of the year. Developing a healthy routine, from bedtime to meals, is a good way to ensure good health throughout the school year.
• Establish dialogue: starting a new class can be stressful, especially in a new school. Talking to parents about one’s fears and concerns is a great way to ease off the stress of a new school year.
• Setting goals: Every new school year has something exciting to offer. Setting goals ahead and then working towards those is a great way to get the maximum benefit out of school. Parents should help their kids identify achievable goals like, maintaining a particular score range, participating in co-curriculars, making new friends, etc. Concrete goals motivate students to do better in school.
Tips for Parents:
• Take out some time and have a heart to heart dialogue with your child before the new academic semester begins. Remember, this dialogue is very important and can provide your child that much needed inspiration and positive thinking. The dialogue can revolve around how your child is feeling about the new class, are there any concerns or is something bothering your child? What are his/her goals for this new class etc.
• Keep in constant touch with the class teacher. If your child has any discomforts, let that class teacher know.
• Keep a track of extra curricular activities/events scheduled in the school and encourage the child to be a part of them in order to develop better relationships with teachers and classmates
Tips for teachers:
• It is always a good idea to begin your first day with various ice-breakers and name games. This will surely help in easing a lot of tension in students and bring forth a positive vibe in the classroom.
• Talk about yourself and also try a get to know your students a bit. This will help in building a positive rapport among you and your students. You can simply start this process by sharing your hobbies and asking theirs.
• Another idea is to have an initiation ceremony in every class. It would be really wonderful if the senior students of every class plan an informal initiation ceremony for the new students. This initiation ceremony can have two components: the first one being an opportunity for the new students to reflect on their learning experiences and journey’s from their previous class. The second component then focusing on orientation by the senior students which should include sharing their experiences as well as opportunities that specific Grade can provide.
Remember, these transitions are an important step in every child’s learning journey, so let’s make it a worthwhile experience for them.
Perhaps the most sublime, yet imposing type of stress is in the form of exams. To handle exam stress effectively we need to get to the root of the problem.
One of the most important factors contributing to exam stress is the expectation of parents and teachers from children to achieve exceptionally high scores. For most parents, exam score becomes a symbol of honour and respect while for the rest, it becomes a deciding factor of evaluation of a child’s intellect.
For schools, high score is a parameter of a teacher’s effectiveness. Therefore, most teachers demand their students to do extremely well in exams. These expectations become so burdening that it creates unnecessary stress among students.
Lastly, the University cut-offs also pose a huge threat to a child’s career. High scores guarantee admission in the best of colleges which in turn guarantees a bright future. Therefore, the race to score 100% in every subject becomes so insane that many a times it has forced youngsters to harm themselves out of fear and hopelessness.
Here are few strategies to deal with exam stress effectively:
- Creating a balanced time table:
Help your child in creating a time table which has a well balanced mix of study and rest time. Moreover, the study time should be strategically created so that it helps maximize learning. Ideally, three hours of study should be followed by one hour of complete relaxation which is then followed by revision.
- Use of effective tools while studying:
Encourage your child to use graphic organizers and mind maps. These tools will help to understand and memorise concepts quickly. It is also advisable to write and practice while studying. One can also use Mnemonics to learn complex topics in the shortest amount of time. It can be a rhyme, a song, image, acronym or a phrase to remember facts in a systematic order.
- Relaxation & Exercise:
Excessive stress gives way to high levels of anxiety which finally leads to burnout. To avoid such psycho-physical state of exhaustion, ensure that there is sufficient time for children to relax. Breathing and relaxation techniques can really help to ease the unnecessary pressure from both mind and body.
- Balanced Diet:
Get rid of coke and chips and replace them with healthy and fresh food. Junk food takes time to digest and in times of stress and anxiety the process of digestion in our body slows down. It is also essential to have lots of fluid to keep yourself hydrated and fresh.
What can we do as parents/teachers?
We as parents and teachers have a huge role to play. When at home, make the atmosphere as accepting and caring as possible. Take out time to sit with your child and genuinely ask how he/she is doing? If they are facing any issues or challenges. Rather than scolding, motivate and inspire them. Few words of love and motivation have the power to bring the best out of your child. Finally, stop comparing with other children. Remember, every child is unique and each has their own way of confronting situations.
As teachers, take out time to figure out what kind of support each child requires. Work in tandem with the school counsellor to create a positive and nurturing environment. During exam time, most schools ban any sort of physical activity for students and that is a very ineffective strategy. Some sort of physical activity is required and it provides energy at a physical level to fight stress.
As educators, let’s not make examination something to fear. Let us make it a process of self-evaluation because learning is a never ending process of self actualization.
AIM2EXCEL had the opportunity of conducting a workshop with the competent staff of Ireo – a Real Estate developer in Gurgaon.
Corporate offices often hold workshops for their staff.
So what’s new about that?
Well, this was a gathering of parents, not corporate employees, who were inquisitive about effective parenting and inculcating the best-suited skills in their children. The focus of the workshop was to provide maximum clarity and confidence about the future direction of children. An array of activities like role plays to understand a parent-child relationship, picture making for self awareness and analysing photos for social cues among others were used to
help parents understand the needs of a child in today’s fast-paced life.
We are proud to have helped parents realise the importance of social and emotional competence in the 21st century. In the times of Artificial Intelligence and increasing mechanization of industry,
social knowledge and interpersonal skills have become mandatory skills of survival.
What parents had to say about the AIM2EXCEL workshop.
A Response of ‘Success’
“The workshop was very interesting and I think I’ll better understand my son’s actions now!”
“Very interesting & innovative as mostly basic day-to-day issues covered which occur between parents and children.”
“This workshop is very good and helpful for me to handle my child from other angles. I will surely recommend it to my friends”
“It is very good workshop to make out children’s future.”