School can be quite a scary place for students especially when they are constantly fearing losing out, fearing exams, fearing disappointments, and fearing failures. This is mainly because we live in a society where we give importance to performance and achievement. Parents can have remarkably high expectations of their children which lead these children to work hard to actually meet these expectations.
There are three main characters in addressing this issue: the student, parents, and teachers.
The Student’s Role in Addressing the Fear of Failure
As a student, you only have one goal: to pass your subjects. There are no shortcuts or tricks to a passing school. You will have to take the regular road to success in this department and that is to study hard.
You have to focus in order to achieve this goal. Start with a good mindset. Do not just aim to pass your subjects. Instead, aim for a bright future. Think long term and the opportunities that could come your way when you excel in school. When you get good grades, this could help you enter into a good graduate school and even win a scholarship. If higher education is not for you, then good grades can get you a good job. Needless to say, excelling in school gives you options and the freedom to choose which path to actually take. On the other hand, failing grades could limit your opportunities. As an example and to set things in perspective, accounting firms are not going to hire you if you actually present failing grades in mathematics.
You also have to consider the number of organizations you want to be a member of. Remember that you do not have unlimited time and that you are going to have to spend some time answering your assignments and finishing your readings for the next day. Join only extra-curricular activities that you know you can handle and spare time for. Do not overdo it.
Do not skip classes and actually, listen to lectures. There will be some subjects that are going to bore you but you have to try your best to get through it because every subject matters. Take notes because they might be asked in the examinations. Speaking of the exam, prepare for it. Do not cram one semester’s worth of lessons overnight because that will only make you panic. Study every day so you only have to review a few days before the exam. When you listen to lectures and understand them accordingly, there will be no need to memorize these theories and concepts anymore as it will just come naturally.
Do not be afraid to miss out on parties. You are not going to run out of it. Set your priorities and make time for what matters. When you maintain a regular schedule and follow it immaculately, you will actually have the extra time to go out and have fun.
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Overall, when you know for yourself that you work hard to succeed in school, you will no longer be afraid of failing. Fear of failing usually occurs when a student is unprepared for the battle ahead. But if you set your heart and mind to it, the road to graduation will be as easy as walking in the park.
The Parents’ Role in Addressing Their Children’s Fear of Failure
It is understandable why parents often set the standards high for their children. This is because they want only what is best for them. However, you have to understand that you might be putting unnecessary pressure on the shoulders of your children.
When setting rules for school, you have to make sure that your children understand why you are imposing these rules on them and why you think excelling in school will benefit them in the long run. Helping them understand the situation and the reason for it all can help to actually want to achieve these goals.
Some parents impose punishments when these children fail an examination or an entire course, but this could affect their well-being. Worse, it could discourage them from making up for it or even continuing school. Instead of scaring them with these punishments, why not do the opposite and reward them for every subject or course passed? This could not only boost their confidence but will actually challenge them to excel in school. Make your rewards as interesting as possible by getting to know what they really want and what they would most likely enjoy.
When a child actually fails a class, his parents have to understand that this could be because of several factors that are beyond his control. In fact, the teacher plays an important role in this aspect. Additionally, it could be from other causes such as family problems, or other relationship problems. Try to talk to them and learn about what truly caused the failure. Knowing the root cause can help you understand and possibly find solutions to it. In these instances, do not be an enemy to your child. Instead, be a friend. Know that they are already in pain and any unnecessary and additional fear or pain can cause damage to him.
The Teacher’s Role in Addressing a Student’s Fear of Failure
Different teachers have different methods of teaching their students. Some prefer being a friend to inspire his students to learn and some prefer being a foe to force his students to study and pass the subject. Either way, could work but a good teacher will try his best to meet his students’ needs first before his own. That means, before choosing a method to teach, he has to exert an effort first to learn more about his students and what works best for them. He has to dissect not only their mental capabilities but their physical and emotional capabilities as well. After all, education should be holistic.
When you are a teacher, you have to realize that your level of thinking is not equivalent to your students’ level of thinking. You were a student once, so put yourself back in that situation. Your purpose is to teach these students and not just to showcase your brilliance. A good teacher knows how to teach and that means being able to communicate what you know to them in the most effective and efficient manner.
Try to be more considerate and limit the volume of your lessons a day that will not exhaust your students. The goal is for them to understand the lectures so you should put more emphasis on quality over quantity. Make your lectures as interactive as possible which means you will have to engage them. Make them participate. Allow them to ask questions. Show them that they are welcome to speak their mind without fear of being told off. You will be surprised to know that there is no need to scare students to elicit a response from them. Be the teacher they will love and draw inspiration from.
Janet Anthony is a blogger from Kansas City who has been writing professionally for five years now. She mostly writes about blogging, writing tips, social media and digital marketing. Her motto is “What you do today can improve all your tomorrows”.