Can lessons learned at work help our kids during exam time?
Around the country children are sitting their exams and causing much anguish for parents and teachers. Does the workplace have an answer?
Primary schools want as many children as possible to pass their #SATs so that the school climbs the educational league table. This system puts intense pressure on 11-year-olds, who may not be able to perform the feats of memory required by exams.
Some might argue that the children are being used to improve the school and not the other way around. As the famous educational psychologist Jean Piaget (1896-1980) said: ‘The ideal school would not have compulsory textbooks for pupils but only reference works used freely.’
This pressure to perform, to be judged by one event, carries through to the office – to give the best presentation, to do well at an appraisal, to excel at an interview. Sometimes our career is defined by that one bad meeting, rather than all the good work done before it.
But the advantage we have as adults is that we’ve learned how to plan and how to cope. Should parents apply the lessons they’ve learned in the office to the experiences children face at school?
If you have a child preparing for exams or SATs, then you could help them cope exactly as you would do before a crucial meeting. We’ve come up these stress-busting tips:
* All work and no play make Jack and Jill dull: think of #work/life balance – break up schoolwork with having fun with friends.
* Set up a timetable: as with any major project, help them to divide tasks into manageable chunks and work out how long to spend on them. But teach them to be flexible and re-allocate time if needed.
* Share the load: think collaborative working – revising with a classmate could make learning easier and reduce stress.
* Boost motivation: just like an appreciative boss, praise your children for their efforts and offer constructive comments.
* Have the right tools for the job: an enticing set of notebooks, highlighters and pens are just as important as the high-quality folders for an important report.
Ultimately, though, perhaps the solution is to have an education system that values people for what they’re good at in the long term, rather than penalising them for mistakes in the short term, made under pressure.
Wouldn’t it be nice if the workplace worked in the same way?