Addressing the ninth graders this morning was a pleasant experience. Students swarmed around me later in the day describing the address as an eye-opener and a revelation of sorts. It got them to introspect and redefine their purpose. They even suggested a few topics that I must address to give them a clarity of their vision. It added a different dimension to my own perception that kids don’t like to be told.I gathered that if we handle our style of delivery ,we can assist students in adding a different perspective to their own thought- process provided. If the purpose is served , then why not ? It is very rare these days, to come across 14 year olds to introspect and even provide feedback. More often than not, we presume that today’s kids don’t like to be told. How important it is to change our mind-set!!!!
How do we address issues and help children to introspect? I asked myself and this is what we can do.
Getting the attention of 500+ young students means one needs to talk exactly what they like to listen. And so, I showed them a clipping from a movie on managing work, time and attitudes. It was the famous comedy – Lucy show – where poor Lucy was overloaded with more work to be done in a faster pace just because she showed she could do thing well the first time. Drawing an analogy, I asked students if they too felt the same and why? The students said they felt this all the time. “Once done, there are piles of more tasks to be accomplished”. And that’s how life expects of us – I added. It makes you feel that you are very enjoyable.
So, how does one make this journey more enriching and fun? Let us understand how success works.
Every child is born with intelligence and during the course of his journey through life, he acquires the competencies and skills needed. The pace of acquisition, however depends on the innate ability and the extent to which one uses the opportunities that comes in one’s way. Just as every room has a floor and a ceiling, we too have a floor level and a ceiling level in our ability to perform. It varies from person to person. In other words, each of us have a floor level and a ceiling level. On an examination day, all students do their best to reach their ceiling level. There are times, however, when despite their best efforts, some of the best students do not reach their ceiling levels. This could either be due to anxiety or health reasons or even overconfidence. On the other hand, a student who is considered average in the class, even may reach his ceiling level on that particular day and may score more than the above – average student. We call it luck. The truth is while the good student could not perform to his ceiling level and was at the floor level on the fateful examination day, the other student had reached his ceiling level which was above the good student’s floor level. This is so because he may have lucky enough to get questions which he prepared for, his anxiety level is low, for he has set no expectations and he is not filled with over-confidence. We call this a stroke of luck. I call it Mental preparation to the finishing line.
This is not just applicable for academics but also to every activity and event that comes our way.
How do we help students prepare to be ahead in the race unto the finishing line?
In my next blog, I shall handle this.