It is said that “Human brain” is the most outstanding object in the world. It functions 24 hours a day, say 365 days a year. It functions right from the time we are born and stop only when we enter the examination hall”. Is this is what happening with you during your exams? Check out why? Competition has become an inseparable part of our lives and it is the fear of this competition that leaves us feeling unhappy, paranoid and worried. The fear of being put to test can be quite stressful for many people. This affects them adversely and they fail to perform to the best of their ability. Students whose attitude towards education is negative have mostly scored less or average marks while students who enjoy studying have always topped the class or been among the toppers. That’s why; thinking about studies as dull, boring, hard, etc. will only add more difficulties in your learning process. Love your studies, the way you love your favorite music or sports. Give it the same attention and passion. After all, studies give you a qualifying degree, eligibility for job, a means to earn money and fame, independence, ability to bring up your family in future, a respectable place in the society and an opportunity to make your life more meaningful and useful.  
 
However, some positive steps may help students cut out the stress. Here are some simple tips to help you overcome that needless fear of what’s called “exam fever”.
 
Many a time students are advised to prepare a Time Table and follow it regularly. However, very few follow this advice and as a result, a fortnight before the exams they find themselves in deep waters. In such a situation, it will be helpful if the student identifies which subjects/papers/topics are hard to deal with but are essential from the exam point of view. Every night just before going to sleep, you should go through those difficult topics and the next morning, revise them. This should be done everyday, till the exams commence. If this practice is followed for at least two weeks, there will be remarkable progress and you’ll gain confidence.
 
A revision timetable can be one of the most valuable tools available in the run-up to exams. Preparing a timetable creates a visual plan that will show you clearly how you are going to cover all of the topics that need to be included in your revision.
 
A good revision during exam time will surely relax your mind and helps you to avoid unnecessary exam stress. So prepare a special strategy for course revision and prepare special short revision type notes. Plan your revision schedule as early as possible and follow the same honestly and keep reviewing it and make necessary changes as and when necessary. This would definately help you to deal with lengthy course and improve your revision strategy. Select chapters as per your strength and gain tremendous confidence by practicing more & more questions. Just follow your revision schedule strictly.
 
Stress actually is contagious. During exam week, resist the urge to have a study session with your super-tensed friend, especially if he/she’s complaining about all the work she has to do and breaking pencils all over the place. His/Her stress will only add to your stress.
 
Practise deep breathing, meditation and yoga as forms of relaxation. They help your body relax and reduce stress. Alternately, take a brisk walk in fresh air after your day's revision is over. Rest is just as important as revision so make sure you get plenty of sleep. "Try to go to bed at the same time every night and get into a routine. "You should also cut down on caffeine, alcohol and other drugs to help you get a proper night's sleep."
 
Avoid junk foods, especially avoid meat, fried foods, chocolates and soft drinks etc. Drink lots and lots of water. It's good for you. It helps your mind to think better.
 
Whether you agree with it or not, exam-taking is a fundamental part of education and being well prepared for taking them is of massive importance. Start early, spread out your workload and try to stay relaxed during the whole process. A bit of careful planning goes a long way, and if you are methodical and organized you will find the whole process much easier. If you believe in God, pray before you start studying. Prayer will help you increase confidence; reduce your stress as well. Exams are just to assess your preparation. So just relax, it is not the end of the world if you do not fair well in them. You’re you, so you can only do the best you can.

Bency Joy
PHd Scholar in Psychology
GSSS Sabari Jn, Rangat


Discipline and Education are the two major components involved in the process of any kind of teaching learning situation. The goal of Education is to help people use their minds better to think about what’s true in the world and what’s not true, what’s beautiful and what may not so qualify, what’s ethical and what’s not. For any type of learning, discipline is must and a pre requisite. Discipline in any sense should not be considered as something rigid and rude as commonly perceived by everyone. 

Discipline is referred to systematic instruction given to disciples to train them as students in a craft or trade, or to follow a particular code of conduct or "order". Often, the phrase "to discipline" carries a negative connotation. This is because enforcement of order – that is, ensuring instructions are carried out – is often regulated through punishment. “The word discipline comes from the Latin word disciplina, meaning ‘teaching, learning.’ Discipline shares a common root with the word disciple: ‘one who accepts and helps to spread the teachings of another’”

Discipline may be treated as a tool required in the proper management of all aspects that are conductive for a perfect teaching learning environment. A good and nurturing environment is very much required to have a positive learning to occur. It is the prime duty of a teacher to mould his students in a positive manner so that they can excel in life with exceptional capabilities and skills. Discipline is required in every activity one indulges in since the morning to one retires for the night. Discipline is the only path which can lead an individual to a bright future.

Some of our greatest fears as parents, teachers and mentors that surround discipline is that how much is enough? How harsh is too harsh? Am I helping, or somehow making things worse? Psychological researches suggest that being successful with discipline means looking at discipline as teaching, and not as a punishment. Discipline is not about getting students to do what a teacher/mentor want them to do. That's what dictators do, and a teacher/mentor is not a dictator. Discipline is providing an environment in which positive teaching and positive learning can occur simultaneously. Discipline is not a control from the outside; it's an order from within. Nature is the best mirror of perfect discipline to all of us. The earth, the sun, the moon and other planets are governed by certain laws to maintain perfect harmony and beauty. Any deviation from these set rules, will spell an utter disaster in nature.

Discipline is necessary for both the teacher and the taught in a teaching learning atmosphere. A good teacher has a great responsibility of keeping a high image of his personality in the society. He can't do it unless he maintains an intellectual and more discipline of a high order. No student will obey and respect an indisciplined teacher, however high may be his knowledge. Similarly only a serious and self disciplined student achieves something worth in the life. Students who are not disciplined,  just wander here and there, waste away their precious time and energy in useless activities and later on repent in life. They soon learnt that there is no shortcut to success and it is only through consistent hard work and self discipline that they can achieve their objective in life.

Discipline is not only desirable but indispensable. Absence of discipline in teaching learning atmosphere means decay. To prevent decay, discipline has to be imposed. Discipline is essential for the success and development of a child and It is the only key to success. A teacher/mentor should be able to shape and mold the young minds of students' with discipline  and an approach  to remind them of how important they are to the society and that their future will depend how they adjust to different situations. When the teachers in ancient India taught their students, it was their trust and belief in the teachers and the discipline shown by the students that learning was possible even through the word of mouth. The core values still remain in the modern days, although more technicalities have permeated the manner in which students learn nowadays.

Our present system of Education stresses much for value based education, but the absence of discipline is seen everywhere which will fetch only bitter consequences. It depends on all of us to think that where we are going …Whether in the right or wrong path.

 

Bency Joy

GSSS SABARI

PhD scholar in Psychology

October 2nd is celebrated as Gandhi Jayanthi. Gandhiji is the symbol of humbleness and from October 2nd to October 8th is “Joy of giving week”. This week is also the week of Poojas, the famous Durga Pooja. We spend lots of money for Celebrations and all other festival related things like shopping, outing etc. We get joy and satisfaction while doing all these things, but have you ever experienced the joy in giving or helping the needy.

The “Joy of Giving week” is a “Festival of Philanthropy” that aims to become a part of Indian ethics with the week celebrated every year covering Gandhi Jayanthi. The week engages people through “acts of giving” i.e money, time, resources and skills. 

Now a days in most of the TV channels we can notice an advertisement in which a boy gave away his lollipop to his underprivileged counterpart. It is really a touching one. Recently a rural school boy from our Islands was helped by his classmates (Vitala Public School, HopeTown) by generating a huge amount is a touching example of “giving”. Giving is not only for the rich and giving is not only about money. Giving can be in terms of spending time or other forms also. Research shows that people spending time and helping others makes them happy. Opportunities to give and help others are everywhere. If we just look around us, someone somewhere needs our help in some form. Someone needs to know that they are loved. Someone is struggling financially and there is something we can do to help if even a little. Someone may simply needs a hug or wants to be just heard.

Giving, taking, earning etc are human impulses, and we wouldn’t be human without them. We live in a beautiful planet. Having been bestowed by the universe with the powers of logical thinking and emotional nurturing, it is as humans not just our duty, but our honor to be able to preserve this abundance and being ‘giving’. Everyone seeks joy in their ecosystem- be it animals, birds, fishes or us. So why not use our ‘power’ to thrive in our environment while letting others do so in theirs. We often get gripped in “Futility thinking" which plays a very vital role in our decisions. Giving money to help the poor is, we say, just drop in the ocean. We focus on those we cannot save rather than on those we can. One more aspect also affects our mindsets which the psychologists calls as the bystander effect—if I hear someone calling for help, and I am the only one around, I am more likely to help than if there is someone else with me who also hears the call but does nothing. Unfortunately, when it comes to our world of giving, there are many who do nothing. Subtle shifts could help us to overcome our psychological barriers to giving. Just as seeing other bystanders not helping makes us less likely to help, so knowing that others are giving makes us more likely to give. The more people talk about what they give, the more we can expect others to give or even pledge.

It might cost us time, money, stepping out of our comfort zone or sacrificing our needs, but rewards of giving are priceless. When we give, we reap the joy of seeing a bright smile, laughter, tears, joy and gratitude. Giving is one of the best ways to share our joys, love and gratitude. The Holy Bible says that it is more blessed to give than to receive. 

You too can make the “Joy of Giving week 2011” a memorable one in your life. It is not important what is given, how much is given, to whom it is given- what is important is giving! Everyone could have a different definition of ‘giving’. If you can say like this, I ‘gave’ today by smiling and being polite to a person inspite of rudeness. These acts of yours will definately brightened a moment in someone’s life. ‘Giving’ can be as simple as this . Just ponder upon that when was the last time you gave someone a gift, compliment, your time or anything? How did it make you feel? Think and decide. It’s time to do your bit and spread the Joy of giving.

Bency Joy
PhD Scholar in Psychology



Today is 14th November and in India 14th November is celebrated as Children’s Day. This day commemorates the Birthday of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister. Nehruji liked children very much and it was his wish that his birthday to be celebrated as Children’s day. After Nehruji’s death, his birthday has been celebrated as children's Day in India. Children's Day is not just a day,It is a day to remember a leader who, in his quiet but determined way, laid the foundation to convert a nascent nation into a world power. Pt Nehru is seen as a special child of India as he was the first Prime Minister of India, which was achieved after a long struggle for freedom and Independence, of which he was a part. He worked passionately for the welfare of children in India. He was fond of Children and thus became popular CHACHA NEHRU among his little admirers. Nehruji was very particular about the progress of the Indian Youth. He wanted to create responsible citizens out of Young boys and girls. Under his regime he included and highlighted the point in his five years plan that every child in India would get free and compulsory Primary Education.
 
Why we celebrate Children’s Day? Is it a mere day for celebration or there is something else behind it. Do the parents and elders in the society have to do anything with the Children’s Day celebrations? Do we elders/parents take time to be a part of our kids Children’s Day. For many parents, it is an important date and they take initiative to celebrate Children's Day by giving gifts and spend the day with them to make them feel special. Are you among one of the parent mentioned above. If not take a chance this year to be a parent of this kind and make a difference in your child’s life.

Children’s Day is a reminder to all elders and parents to renew their commitment for the welfare of the children’s. Childhood is about innocence and playfulness. It is about joy and freedom.

Childhood is perhaps the best part of anyone’s life as during this time we enjoy life to the fullest. Children’s do not know what sorrow is, they do not know the harsh realities of time and go about being happy in their own merry world.

Children’s Day is a special day that aims to celebrate childhood, the most wonderful stage in the life of a person. Celebrating Children’s Day is about giving children the right to enjoy and grow into healthy and educated citizens of the country. If parents/Elders can teach their child the value of sharing with others what they are lucky to have, then not only your child will grow into a responsible human being, but also another child who otherwise could have ended up being a delinquent, had it not been for your thoughtfulness. We cannot hide the fact that many children in India are not getting basic privilege like education. Many Children are earning money instead of playing. The true essence of Children’s Day is to understand the significance of Childhood in our lives. The values and disciplines learned as a child are responsible for the kind of adulthood one has. Thus Childhood is special and should be celebrated to remind all young and adults about Children’s right to enjoy their childhood without any boundaries and to be educated adult in the future.  

It is our prime duty to provide our children’s with a safe and loving environment in which they can grow as well as giving them ample and equal opportunities through which they can take great strides and contribute to the progress of nation.

BY Bency Joy, GSSS Sabari, Rangat


Fifth of September is celebrated as Teachers Day in India. India has a tradition of giving a special status to teachers. The word “GURU” is itself so exalted; the place of a teacher is something even ahead of GOD. The teacher is only next only to mother and father. We have a long standing tradition of revering our teachers. “Guru Devo Bhava” has been the basis of our system of learning and our society has always looked up to our teachers to guide in both words and deeds. Their invaluable service in educating younger generation, moulding their character and nurturing good values have contributed to the cause of nation building. Throughout the ages, in our history, a teacher has been regarded as a role model who shows students the way to become good human beings and infuses a goal and a mission for life in them. It is the teacher who moulds the lives of students and gives the light of knowledge and ignites young minds. A good teacher can only give and give. Teachers are considered as sculptors, as they can shape the society from being a good one to a great one. The question arises here that whether still such traditions exists in our country. Times were, when the teaching profession was held in very high esteem. It was a matter of pride and honor to be a teacher. Things have changed radically.

It’s now time for the teaching fraternity to ponder upon the loopholes that have been developed in the system of teaching and learning. From my personal experience as a teacher I have learned that teaching is about relationship as well as pedagogy, and more to do with inter personal communication. To a far extend a teacher can only make a remarkable change in maintaining the positive meaning of the phrase “Guru Devo Bhava”. A teacher has to establish positive vibes with his students and should feel the delightful chemistry being generated with the relationship. A teacher can make his classroom rocking with immense flow of knowledge by eliminating all the resistances coming in midst of the teacher, teaching situation and student.

Teachers are expected to provide considerable freedom to the children to develop their fullest capacity as well as inspire students to imbibe socially relevant values and attitudes and affection. Promotion of critical thinking and concern for others in the budding minds has assumed the highest importance in the present day context of competition and globalization. The importance of the role of teachers in this regard needs reiteration. Teachers must provide opportunities to students to observe, question, enquire, debate and arrive at conclusion to create new ideas. A teacher, beside the duty of an educator and scholar to provide learning settings to enhance cognitive development and intellectual achievement, it becomes apparent that non-intellectual factors also deserve teacher’s attention. Creating an emotional and caring climate is conductive to high quality learning and also very challenging for the teachers. Each individual teacher creates a learning climate either through formal or informal interaction with students. The quality of relationship set up between teachers and students, or within an institution is referred to as its climate, the way the students feel about it. Teachers either inside the classroom or outside the classroom, exert a great deal of influence on establishing a good quality teacher-student relationship. Teachers who take the time to develop positive relationships with their students will see improvement in their students both academically, behaviorally and emotionally.

It is easy to make simple things difficult but difficult to make complicated things easy. It requires good teaching style, effective communication skills and appropriate soft skills to make difficult things easy and enjoyable to learn. The process of learning must be enjoyable. It must not be dry, boring and painful. It is important for a teacher to remember two pedagogical processes.

(i) A teacher should be capable of making movement of the molecules in the mind of his students and light the spirit of renewal in their hearts. Getting knowledge that is inside the student to move out, facilitating inward discovery and help students to unlock the treasure ie to make them creative.

(ii) The next part is imparting knowledge from outside into the student. Conductive environment and making students interested, eager to learn, teachers proficiency in teaching skills and knowledge in the subject will help the teacher to achieve this target easily.

Apart from these , some teachers teach for mere getting salary. For them teaching is like any other job, a profession rather than a passion. For them teaching is only a means of earning livelihood. Some teachers are obsessed with recognition and are always ready to follow any shortcut route to achieve their target. They crave for awards recognitions, titles, colleague recognition, and honors. The highest categories of teachers are those who win respect-respect of their students, parents, colleagues and respect of the society. They are passionate about teaching and are loved by their students.

The time has come for all the teachers to introspect and see within themselves, where they belong. Each teacher should ask this question to their inner self that, “Am I a good teacher? Have I won the respect of my students?”A good teacher is a friend…A teacher need to be kind, trusting and friendly towards his students.Let’s hope for a future where our teachers become GURUS by teaching students passionately and rule in the class, not as a dictator, but rather ruling the hearts of the children. It is the language of hearts that is best understood by students leaving a lasting impression on their minds. 

Bency Joy
PhD Scholar in Psychology