Stress Management in classroom

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There is no one in this world whose life is stress-free. But people who take the stress as a challenge, remain happy even when the circumstances are not favourable. Can we make our teaching learning process such that our students learn to face the challenges without getting stressed? We, the teachers can play a very important role in making the classroom stress free or at least, reduce it to some extent.

Teachers and students can have fun in the classrooms. Usually, it happens that in a class, before a teacher enters, students talk, smile and laugh. But as soon as the teacher enters, most of them look tense and their face expression changes. Can learning take place if they feel burdened and unhappy most of the time? If we have a little humour in our classrooms, definitely it will stimulate learning.

We can start it by laughing at ourselves. In this way, students will be able to experience fun without hurting others’ emotions. In recent times, teachers are attending so many training programmes and seminars to update themselves and to apply new methods of teaching so that holistic development of each child takes place. But very few people talk about how humour can be included during the lessons. If a teacher starts the lesson with a good joke every day, the student will wait for such teacher with a great enthusiasm.

Some physical activity can also be done for a few minutes so that they come out of their chairs and get rid of boredom. Some children are introvert and hesitate to come up with their problems. If they are allowed to sit in groups and discuss the problems with each other, it will be a great help for them.

No one can avoid stress. It will be there throughout life. But by changing the atmosphere of the classroom whenever possible, we can help our children to learn how to manage it.

Why do children hate mathematics ?

Not only children but many grown ups around you will tell about the nightmares they had before mathematics exam in school days. How they wished, they had a choice to study some other subject in place of maths. The question arises, why so many people hated mathematics at primary and middle class levels?

Now-a-days, there is a great emphasis on relating the study on relating the study of different subjects with day to day life. But as far as maths is concerned, first thing that comes to our mind is numbers and basic operations. Shapes, measurement, time and other topics are given a very little importance. Well, let’s have a look the way numbers are introduced to a child who has just entered the school. To make child familiar with number “one” by telling “This is one pencil” or “This is one bird” etc. The child know objects well but what about the number “one” ? Moreover, the overenthusiastic parents make them cram the counting from one to ten. Does it looks like that the child will take any interest in numbers? The very beginning of the learning is wrong. Wouldn’t it be better idea if along with “one” , “many” is also introduced by showing concrete objects to the child?

Remember how much you loved stories when you were in class 1 or 2? Children love to study English, Hindi and even social science because they find stories in these subjects. Even in science, they find interesting activities. But mathematics, no fun at all! Each child learns in a different way, but all of them are taught using same methods. In my opinion, teachers need to identify the skills to be developed in the students and plan their lessons accordingly. The content has to be according to the age group also. So called “good publishers” add so much unnecessary content in their books that makes children lose interest in the subject.

Too much of drilling also doesn’t help. Including some challenging tasks and activities in the lesson plans will definitely build the interest. At pre-primary and primary level, the basic concepts should be introduced through stories, poems and hands on experience. Once in a while, let them sit in groups and guide them to help each other and learn from each other. I’m sure that these efforts will make the child feel comfortable while s/he studies maths and will be no more afraid of it.

Is change required in our education system?

Before independence, education system in India had a purpose to impart little knowledge to the young generation so that they are able to work as clerks, attendants etc. British rulers didn’t want their skills to develop otherwise they wouldn’t be able to rule over them.

It’s a pity that in spite of so many efforts to bring the changes, we are still following the same system where the students are memorizing the facts, writing in the exams and completing their “education”. Very little stress is laid on habit formation, developing the skills, inculcating values and many other things which help an individual to lead a meaningful life.

Why ??? If you talk to the teacher’s, they’ll tell you so many reasons like, “Our examination system is based on this type of system only”,”If we don’t don’t teach like this, how will a student be able to write the answers while writing their exams?”,      “Infrastructure of our school is inadequate”,”Teacher student ratio is inappropriate”, etc. etc. Very true !! Most of the government schools as well as private schools are facing these problems. But the main reason behind this “cramming based” system is that the teachers themselves have received this type of education only. Even the teacher training programs (B.Ed, M.Ed, NTT etc) are also imparting bookish knowledge only. Ask any teacher about how their B.Ed or other degrees helped them in their work, they’ll tell you that the actual learning took place when they started working. Not only in the profession of teaching, this is true in almost all the fields.

If a child enjoys art, music or sports and is passionate about it, his/her elders discourage them by saying “Why are you wasting your time in these things? you should study maths, science and other subjects which will help you to pass the exams and earn money in future”. Students are forced to do all those things which they don’t like and enjoy. After all this, we blame them for not performing their duties properly.

Dear youngsters, don’t wait for the change to happen, make it happen. Come forward and become a part of this revolution which is the need of the hour

Where is the bookish knowledge leading us to?

Have a look at our education system. So much content is there for reading, writing and learning. What about hands on experience?

A student of class 2 knows how many centimetres are there in a metre, how many metres are there in a kilometre etc. etc. ……… But if you ask, “What is the length of your shoe lace?” or “What is the length of your mother’s dupatta?”, most of the children wouldn’t be able to answer.

Reason? The child has never used a ruler or a measuring tape to measure anything. For teaching them addition, subtraction and other operations also, lot of written work is done but nobody gives them concrete things such as pebbles, twings to experience learning by doing. In other subjects also too much stress is laid on cramming rather than activities which involve observation, discussion, exploring the things in their surroundings.

No wonder, in higher classes also many students are not able to understand the concepts which they learned in lower classes. As a result the child starts losing interest.

When these things are discussed with teachers and parents, most of them agree that we need to change the system. But who is going to make this change? What stops us from bringing the changes? Why do we resist the change? Are we scared? Do we think that there will be some negative effect on children? But how well come to know unless we try?

If some teachers and schools come up with a different system, some of the other members of society don’t like it because they think that the children will lag behind in this world of cut throat competitions. But the fact is that this is not true.

Teachers and parents together have to step forward to bring this change and then only our children will become good citizens of society.

Indian Education System

Why do we need to be educated ???

To draw out best from our natural abilities, to develop our skills, to become a better person etc,etc ……

Now have a look at any 3 years old child who has just started going to school. She carries a bag with notebooks, books and other things. Look at her tender fingers. Can she eat her food on her own? In most cases, NO.

Can she dress up herself? Well, anyone can answer this question. If she’s not able to perform these tasks on her own, are we doing justice with her by making her write in the notebooks? The fingers that cannot break a piece of “chapati”, are forced to hold a pencil and WRITE.

what skill is being developed? When she is not able to write, her parents scolds her. She starts focusing on her inability rather than abilities. Do you think she’s going to become a responsible citizen when she grows up ? Is the purpose of education being fulfilled?

To be continued……