Supporting Students Appearing for Boards
Boards are nothing but exams in the literal sense. But we are conditioned to believe that boards carry a different level of significance altogether. It is that evaluation which stays with us, it decides our future, etc. Due to this, the pressure of boards feel much more for students than other exams. The stress and anxiety multiplies significantly for board exams and often it may become difficult to cope with it. It is during these times that the role of support systems become very important. The heavy burden of preparation plus the pressure to perform can get a little easy with the right support. Let’s take a look at how support systems may help
- Help them to figure out a plan- Teachers and students may discuss and collaboratively develop a strategy for preparation. Different students have different capacities. Teachers can help them to decide how much they should study for a subject or how to prepare their timetable so as to ensure maximum productivity. For example, advising a student to devote half an hour each day on the subject they find specially difficult may go a long way in building their confidence in that subject.
- Give them regular and constructive feedback- A feedback helps students to track their progress. But its important to give the feedback in a manner that won’t demean their efforts. Feedback should first include appreciation i.e., praising them for whatever progress they have made and then followed by pointing out the areas they need to work on. It’s important to keep in mind that the negatives should not be pointed out harshly.
- Take updates on their mental health- It’s important to ask the students once in a while about how they are feeling. Teachers understand well if there is a deterioration in student’s mental health by simply observing them in class. However, due to the current constraints with respect to physical classrooms, such detections may be difficult. Therefore it’s important to ask them. If you suspect them going through some difficulty encourage them to talk about it or reach out to the school counsellor.
- Help them develop a larger purpose- For many students the only purpose of studying is to do well in exams and that is why the only thing they bother about is marks. Teachers must instill in students the purpose of academics as growth and development of their individuality. This helps in shifting their focus from preparation and marks to learning and gaining knowledge, thus educating them in the true sense of the term.
- Encourage breaks- A few months before boards a lot of students tend to study day in and day out. This negatively affects their performance. Parents should insist their kids to take regular breaks and also give time for their recreation and fun.
- Praise their efforts- A word of praise specially from parents does a great job in motivating us to give our best. Utterances like “I am proud of your efforts” or “I am amazed by your hard work and consistency” can boost students’ confidence and positivity a great deal.
- Keep faith- Parents are equally concerned about their kid’s exams as they themselves are. As a result parents are often found to be anxious about the kid’s studies so much as to constantly checking on their preparation and telling them to study. This in turn makes the students anxious as well and takes a toll on their confidence. They start doubting their abilities and exams start to seem difficult to manage. It’s important that parents keep faith in their child’s sincerity and trust them regarding their studies and their sense responsibility about exams.
Be their go to person- Exams in themselves are stressful and board exams add to the stress. To effectively deal with this stress its necessary to vent out the feelings to a pair of empathic ears. Let them know that you are always there to listen to their difficulties. Build that space with your child that you are the first one they want to reach out when in distress.