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It’s all in the planning!

I am a Class VIII student. After school re-opened, I have wanted to revise the chapters taught in school daily to score higher. But because of the home work and assignments, I haven’t been able to regularly follow the study schedule I have prepared. Please give me tips to revise daily.

Glad to know you want to perform better. As you go to higher classes, you might have to spend more time on your lessons. It is the quality of your study time that matters. An effective study pattern has to be followed regularly. When you plan a schedule, it has to be realistic and achievable. Small breaks during study will help you focus better.Find out why you are not able to follow your schedule. Distractions of any kind can hinder your concentration and must be avoided. Set targets and appreciate yourself when you complete a task or do well. Feel happy when you see some improvement in you. Keep your motivation high. Be regular, committed and consistent in your efforts. Hard work never fails.

I’m in Class IX. I concentrate in class and also work hard throughout the year. But when it comes to examinations I’m not able to score well and my classmates make fun of me because of this. I have tried analysing where I go wrong, but I’m unable to find out the reason. Please help me.

Good that you concentrate in class and also put in your best effort. You must be feeling very upset when you are not scoring well in examinations and are made fun of. It would be helpful if we are able to identify the reasons for your performance. Have you tried recollecting what you have learnt in class? It is not the time spent studying that matters but the quality of time. You must be able to recollect what you have studied and present them in your answer sheets. There are 3 Rs important in studying: Reading and writing, Recollection and Retention.

Do you panic during the examinations? If so, it will hinder your performance. Keep yourself relaxed. Do not go in for last-minute preparation. Have a good night’s sleep before your examinations. Positive affirmations such as “I will do my best” will make you more confident of yourself.

QUERY FROM A TEACHER

I am a teacher. My concerns are about a student. He is in Class I. He is not scared of any teacher and doesn’t sit in his place. He disturbs everyone. Once I asked him to distribute books and check if students are going in a single during the interval. He did it well, and I realised that when I give him tasks, he’s happy. But he doesn’t take them up all the time, and usually gets back to his unpleasant ways. Teachers have tried to talk to him several times, but it hasn’t helped. Sometimes, he even pinches / bites teachers. Once when a teacher told him she would complain about him to the principal, his response was shocking. His parents have taken him to many counselling centres but they too don’t know what to do. We’re hoping to get a solution.

Dear teacher, it looks as if the energy level of the child is very high. When the energy is not dissipated properly, children tend to become restless. There must be a healthy way of letting out the energy. Of course it is a challenge for teachers to manage such children in the classroom. You have not mentioned about the academic performance of the child. Does the child complete the work given and then starts disturbing others or does he not do his work at all? In order to manage him, you have tried a few strategies. Children like variety and change. To manage such kids in class, effective classroom management techniques are necessary. Here are a few:

• Seating: Seat the child away from the door / window and make him sit in front of you to avoid distractions. You can follow silent signals to keep him in control without disturbing the others in the class. The child can be seated with a child who will be a good buddy and help him and not get distracted.

• Give responsibility: Give him small tasks once he completes his work. It can be different every time to create interest and behavioural change. He should find the incentives interesting. You can give this as an incentive to create discipline among other children also.

• Structured prompts: Many times, overactive students tend to blurt out the answers. Consider using a structured prompt such as “After I ask a question, everyone gets 15 seconds to think of their answer before I call upon anyone”. Keep using these reminders of expected behaviours throughout the day.

• Physical activity: Minor exercises after 20 minutes such as dance, yoga stretches or a game will break the routine for the child and help him vent out the energy. This can be followed for the whole class. This is a great way to increase the focus of your entire class, and not just the students who are overactive.

• Time-out: He can be given a time-out, say, a round in the playground after an hour or so with supervision, to vent out his energy.

• Parental support: Talk to the child’s parents and ensure he does not have excessive screentime at home. Some kind of physical activity such as swimming, skating or any other sport will help him. Parents also can follow ways to keep him occupied in a fun way. Being punitive will not help the child. The child will only become more aggressive and uncontrollable. If the problem persists, an occupational therapist can be consulted.

Arthy Sriram
is a counsellor for a reputed school in Chennai, a visiting counsellor for an IT company and a career counsellor. She conducts life skills training for children and adults.


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