Many changes have taken place after the first week of the new year, 2018.
Many parents would be definitely be anxious and worried about their children. Many teachers would also be preparing themselves mentally and emotionally to support their students.
As an educational and academic consultant, I’d like to share some insights to help you cope with your anxiety. I will also make suggestions from what I’ve learned from my professional training and education that may help you get through the day to day concerns and worry that you may face about your student.
Feelings Towards Learning Is Important
Your student will be in school for at least an average fourteen years: six years in primary level, four years secondary, four – six years tertiary. When our students become young adults, half their lives would have been spent studying and learning in an educational institution. When they become adults, their experiences as students may affect their adult lives.
This is why it is important that the adults, parents, family members, and educators, must remember that the ways a student perceives learning and education can and will affect how successful they are as students and as adults later in their lives.
As the adults in the lives of our students, we must take a step back and examine our actions, speech, and decisions. One way is to examine our own perceptions and experiences of learning and studying, and then ask if we want our students to have a positive or negative experience.
How can we ensure that we develop a positive perception towards learning in our children?
We Are Like Lit Candles, Lighting Others
In my experience of teaching and tutoring, I’ve met many different adults. There are those who do not care about their students, while some just want their students to just pass. As the adult, while it is completely normal and natural to worry about your student’s future or results, it would be wise to find out what truly occupies your mind. Sometimes it can be a desire or an expectation for your child. Sometimes it is a goal in the future, and sometimes it can be immediate results.
Regardless of what these feelings may be, they actually fuel our actions, speech, and decisions as the energy that we send out whether we are aware of them or not. This energy is what we pass on to our students and this can affect them in many ways. For example, a Mathematics teacher who is too strict and unfriendly may regularly give out negative energy. As a result, her students have a negative attitude and perception towards Mathematics. The downwards spiral begin as the teacher becomes even more unfriendly and overly firm because she thinks her students have a negative attitude towards her and her class.
So as we think and worry about what we want best for our students, let’s not forget to be aware of the kind of energy that we pass on to them. Think about how a candle can pass on its fire to another candle.
What kind of energy and feelings do we want to pass on to our students, knowing that we can affect their attitude and behaviour?
Balance Is Key
All parents want their children to be successful when they become adults. One of the best ways for that is through education. While I am sure that most parents believe that they have the best way to develop their child, we can definitely learn from parents who have developed successful students.
In my experience, I have noticed that top students usually have schedules that emphasize a balance between their interests, physical activities, and their studies. Since a student is a human being with a complex set of needs, this emphasis ensures a person has a healthy intellect, mind, body, self-confidence and self-esteem. A holistic and balanced mind and body will help ensure success in the different parts of a person’s life.
While many parents would place a large focus on studying, it may be good to reassess your children’s schedules and activities to see whether there is a balance of activities, keeping in mind their needs as a person. As a start, you may start a discussion with your students on how they would like to manage their time. With your wisdom and experience, share with your students how they can invest their time and not waste it.
Does your student’s present schedule help them develop their lives holistically?
Melentur buluh biarlah dari rebungnya
– Malay Proverb
Melentur buluh biarlah dari rebungnya. This Malay proverb which translates to “To bend a bamboo, start when it’s still a shoot” teaches us to teach values to a child while they are still young. In other words, whatever “bending” we do to the “shoot” now will result in a “bamboo” many years down the road. I hope that this article has helped you start reflecting on the decisions you will make next when “bending a shoot”.