Well, when there is mention of impatient students, the first instance which comes to my mind is about the previous batch of students I had as a class teacher. Class VII - B, 2022 batch had this incredibly brilliant young boy who displayed quite the traits of competitiveness, curiosity, and dedication.
This often led him to come across as impatient during various situations. He used to go through the lessons beforehand at home, which was impressive initially. But with time, during the classes, his habit of frequent interruptions in the name of ‘him throwing some more light on the current topic with unnecessary facts and references' developed and started to become a nuisance for the teachers as well his classmates.
Later on, his impatient behaviour was evident outside of academics as well - in sports activities and lunch breaks. Most of the students started avoiding him for that reason, and if someone responded or reacted to his actions, it used to end up in conflict. This was leading to an atmosphere of anxiety and negativity amongst many of my students and seemed unhealthy.
This is how I started incorporating little changes and adjustments, followed by the improvements:
1. I started encouraging note-taking during my classes, which involved noting down the timeline of the lesson and keywords. This helped as the students had to emphasize understanding the concepts better while writing in between. More engagement leads to a better flow during the class.
2. Besides, I started to emphasize exchanging questions and answers after lecture. This way, they were compelled to focus more on the learning and understanding part.
3. I included a short briefing on the importance of being a team player, followed by team-building exercises for the students. It helped them understand better how team-led goals are as important as individual goals.
4. I had to jumble the chapters twice or thrice too- to bring spontaneity and help that impatient student break out of the habit. It was really helpful, as he had less information to share and he was simply unprepared. This seemed cruel at that time, but helpful in the long run.
5. I counselled him about the perks of being a good listener like how it helps us in being more eloquent, disciplined, and charming. The change was not visible, however, in a few weeks he was a lot more restrained and composed during the classes. In fact, students started including him in classroom activities.
In order to deal with someone impatient, it is very important to keep patience and call it out in a creative manner, especially in the case of students. Because, if handled insensitively, it might lead to hindering a bright young student from speaking; And, usually a student suddenly turning quiet ends up being labelled as 'dull' resulting in another problem.
This is a story of my own life. As a little girl what I am going to share with you today is something that l have archived and it had a lot to do with some fear that was there in my heart from a very young age and maybe you are going to learn something from it.
So, when I was a little kid, I was very scared of mathematics. I could never even get a passing score. I used to always flunk in maths, and that was like a way of life for me, like I knew and my family knew that she would be able to score in other subjects but she can not do anything about mathematics.
No matter what she does with other things, she cannot pass maths, and that is something that I had also accepted as a way of life and I believed in it as I said. If l want to be promoted to the other class I will have to make sure that I do not flunk in any other subject, because then flunking in two would mean that there was no new promotion for me. So I had to make sure that I could get a passing score, so yeah I mean I was an average student I picked up a little better but anyway, that's how it went on till class seven.
Always flunking in maths, never ever getting a passing score. And finally, class eight happened. I told myself that this time I'm going to try and I'm going to pass in maths, and I decided to get 40 because setting small goals was my thing. It still is, so I set my mind to 40 and I got 40 okay in the very next exams. Then, in the next ones I plan to get a 70, I scored a 70. Then in the next one, I decided to do better, and I got an 86 yeah !!! This is a story of over many years, and in the class of 12, I decided that I am going to get a 100. And you know what, I got 100!!
So what did we learn from the story?
My math is strong. That wasn't the motive, then the motive behind the story is, I probably was scared. I always had that thing in me that l could do very well with maths, but I was so scared and I had accepted it as a way of life. And I believed in the thing that math is not for me. l can not be good at maths. And I accepted it and that is why I never worked on it. And I always believed that no matter what, I can never actually do well with this subject.
I was so scared to even try and I believe this is something that is happening with you right now with our English. We are so scared of trying, we are so scared of facing the fear that some of us have accepted it as a way of life for us. We believe that everything else will work out for you but English, good communication in English, and Good conversation in English are not going to happen for us which is not true. All we've to do is to set our mind to try. We have to try!!!
Ashtalakshmi @ RPK School Moradabad
Ritu Goyal, Poonam Sharma, Meenakshi, Sonia Gupta, Tabinda Jabeen, Charu Sharma and Krishangi Sharma.