Undo Burnout – For Form 1 Students and Parents
During or after we have been through a long period of stress we usually experience some kind of burnout. Burnout is the physiological effect (in other words, the effect on our bodies and brains) that the stress produces.
For us to understand the serious effect stress can have we must know that stress is not just feeling pressured or overworked. The effects of stress can be identified in the body by high levels of stress hormones. When a person has been stressed out for a long time it takes a while to get back to normal and in the meantime it will be difficult to function.
Form 1 students are coming into secondary school burnt out from the pressure and demands of grade 6. These students are mentally tired and we have noticed that this is a major problem for their academic performance in the lower forms. These same students also have to face new stresses of beginning a new school and go through major changes in their own bodies.
While we understand that our new students have lasting stress effects after the hard task of common entrance preparation and we want them to bounce back from the grade 6 burnout, we also want them to continue their successful growth as a student.
Here are some helpful things that Form 1s and their parents can do to balance their bounce back from burnout and their academic progress.
1. Stay organized. Keep track of assignments, projects, tests, homework and extra-curricular activities somewhere very visible, like a wall calendar. Do things early and in order of importance so that you have enough time to finish and you do not forget or have to rush.
2. Re-set the limits. This is a new start at a new school so take the time to understand what is expected from you as a student and what is absolutely not acceptable. For example you are expected to be on time and ready to work when you get to school and it is absolutely not acceptable to not have your homework or to talk during class.
3. Decide early on goals. You went into grade 6 knowing what your goal was so you were able to work to meet it. It would be a mistake to now jump into a new school without first taking some time to set some short-term and long-term goals. Use your goals to stay on track.
4. Make it interesting. Learning does not have to be boring. You are beginning a five year journey to your CXC examinations and further life success this is a great time to find creative ways to make your own learning fun. Make sure to find out your learning style (you can find quizzes online) and use tips, tricks and technology to beat boredom.
5. Break down success. Know that success is made up of lots of little parts. See the steps involved in accomplishing any task and cheer yourself on all along the way so that you stay motivated. If you make sure to get all the notes on an important topic in class you should feel good about it because that is one of the steps that will help you to study later and do well.
6. Put the work down. Spend time doing things that are relaxing, social and fun. It is good for you to dedicate some time to your non-academic talents, playing sports, having nice talks with the people around you and just generally enjoying yourself. Healthy lives have balance.