The holiday has been a really long one. Even though this was meant to be a restful period, most students have not managed to catch a break because of loads of homework they were given. That, coupled with house chores and other responsibilities. This of course is different for different families.
While it is important for the students to constantly interact with their school materials, it is equally important that they get some rest so that they return to school. As they get into the last week of the holiday, it is important to give the students the rest they need. They are probably anxious about incomplete assignments. The anxiety is even worse if the students have been facing bullying or any academic challenges in school. Parents and guardians could use these last few days to engage their children in how they feel about going back to school. While most students are generally just antsy about going back to school, additional factors might make it worse.
Checking in with the student to find out what is going on in their school life helps them settle in with the back-to-school idea. Whatever the student is going through, it is also important to find an approach that will not make it worse for them. This can include discussing with the child, to find out how they can be assisted better, and adjust to the school environment.
My sister, who is now in form two came home with deep marks from being caned. She was in so much pain, that she couldn’t sit right. The reason was that the class had failed their exams and their teacher was furious. Naturally, we were all, as a family, angry and unimpressed. We discussed the measures we wanted to take, factoring in the well being of our child. She was heavily consulted and eventually, we went with what was okay with her.
Understanding the abilities of the student comes into play when dealing with the teacher-student relationship. Children cannot always be improving in their grades. It is natural that sometimes, they get fewer marks than they have previously. Parents, teachers, students, and the entire school system is used to this. There is no need for drastic actions the one time the students don’t do well. It is our collective responsibility to be gentle with them, find out what they need and figure out how to best assist them. Performance is important to the school and to the students but focusing solely on it can lead to missing out on great other parts of the students’ capabilities.
Even as the kids go back to school, let us encourage them to focus on their studies, and do their best. However, let us also remind them that they have a lot more to offer the world. That they do not lose their value because of dropped grades. They should not feel anxious to go back to school, and then anxious about going home because they have failed. They deserve to feel safe in the environments that are nurturing them. They deserve to be seen as human beings, people with feelings and thoughts.
I understand the frustration of investing in a child and not getting the results you expect but that their not meeting expectations does not make them less valuable. I pray we find a balance this new term, on how to handle our frustrations.
Munira Hussein is a writer, author, editor, and public speaker. Her books range from short stories and poetry to academic books used in primary and secondary schools across East Africa. She is a co-author at Longhorn Publishers. She aspires to connect, educate and inspire humanity through her writing. Her short story, Powder in the Wind was shortlisted for the African Writers Award in 2018. She was also shortlisted in 2020, for the Writing Gender Residency sponsored by Huza Press and Goethe Institut, Kigali. Her books, Unfit for Society and A Curve of Darkness are available at the Library of Congress and on Amazon. Munira Hussein is a writer and an author. She pursued B.Sc. Microbiology at Kenyatta University before delving fully into writing.