Dear teacher, these exercises will shift your paradigm of teaching, because they will help you to connect to your learners on a deeper level and thus your pupils will engage more actively in the learning process. This is no theory. A theory can prove itself to be too abstract and therefore, useless, when it is applied. This is a practical advice, borne out of real classroom experience. I would gently like to encourage new readers to Google my previous articles, in order to appreciate the picture which they are trying to paint.
This week’s exercise is concerning fear and memory during exams. Last week, I was invited by a certain secondary school to “motivate” Grade 10 and 12 learers/students to do well in the exams. But first, allow me to point out something which is very important to me. I am forever referred to as a motivational speaker. I wish to inform the entire nation that Natural Learning does not give motivational speeches. I am not a motivational speaker! I am a teacher who gives lectures on how to learn better and how to teach better. These lectures are inspired by my experience with teachers and learners/students.
Here is the summary of the lecture that I gave last week. (Although I write for teachers, I pray that this article finds its way into the hands of Grade 10 and 12 learners/students, because it is like a lifeboat which could save them from drowning in the sea of examination!)
Do you know this feeling: you go into the exam hall and open the examination paper. You come across questions which you do not understand and you begin to panic. You look at the time and you are convinced that someone was messing with the clock, because the minutes are moving much faster, than usual. Your heart is beating so loud, that your neighbour can hear it. Your armpits are out of control and you begin to smell funky. Finally, you make the emergency prayer: Dear God, I hope this answer is right! As soon as you leave the exam hall, whoooosh! The right answers return into your memory and you wonder why they were hiding, when you needed them.
What happened? Fear happened. Fear blocks the mind because you believe that your life is in danger, and now your mind is preparing to either fight or to run away (from an imaginary lion). No time to think, now. As soon as the lion is gone (meaning exam is over) your mind begins to relax and that is when all the answers come back from their holiday. How can you overcome this? You only need to relax your mind. How do you do that? Whenever you feel the pressure whilst writing exams, stop for a moment and do the following: close your eyes and listen to the sounds around you. Take slow and deep breaths and keep telling yourself “my mind is relaxed and the right answer will come to me, now. Do this for three minutes and repeat this process, every time you are about to panic. This method has helped my students to pass the exams.
Dear principal, make copies of this article and give to each and every Grade 10 and 12 learners. This might be the only hope they have.
*Shapumba Ya Shapumba is the founder of Natural Learning Education Consultancy. He teaches how to obtain a+ in any subject (students) and the secret to extraordinary teaching (teachers). For booking: firstname.lastname@example.org or 0812786925