This is a guest post by Nik @Career_Journey who is a coach who provides business and Career Coaching services. Nik has been laid off multiple times and now has his own coaching practice. He has a positive outlook on life and is always willing to help his next client on the way to a successful Career Change.
It is fair to say that the past 5 years have been extremely hard on the UK economy and as a result many people are struggling to cope, having either lost their jobs and are struggling to find new ones, or have had to take a significant decrease in salary.
With the downturn affecting many parents and teachers in this manner, it has been hard to keep inspiring students to go the extra mile and make sure that they do well at school. It is somewhat understandable to see the view from the children’s side of things, where they just feel that there’s no point in working hard, because their parents did – but now look what’s happened to them.
Advice for parents:
- You must sit your child down and explain that the situation has not always been like this and things will improve and when they do, they need to be prepared.
- You must enforce the idea that other students will continue to work hard and get better jobs as a result, meaning that your child will be left behind so they must try to outperform their peers.
- Try and become more familiar with the latest work trends, in order to better connect with your child, for instance highlight exciting new areas that are up and coming, like Green jobs or mention places abroad that are attracting more UK citizens in order to fill exhilarating new roles.
- Ensure that you know what your child enjoys and encourage them to continue studying those topics. Not only will this make their studying easier but they will appreciate it more and therefore work harder.
- Offer to go into your child’s school and give talks about your experiences. Whilst your child may not be willing to sit down and listen to you, there will be other children who benefit from your experience and you will inspire them. You then need to try and get other parents in to school who might be able to inspire your child in return.
Advice for teachers:
- Encourage new technology into the classroom. Not only will this encourage the students to take an interest in technology but you will find that they become more innovative and excited as they get to show you what they can do with the new technology.
- Try and connect your subjects with the modern world. For instance, use relevant examples, such as in Math – “If you have 500 Facebook friends and 225 of those friends use twitter, what percentage of your friends do not use twitter?” In IT lessons, you could refer to Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook business model, or ask your students to create an mobile App.
- Try and have fun with your student, studying does not have to be serious, so find interesting but perhaps silly subjects that your students can have a laugh with.
- Be passionate about what you are teaching, as your passion will rub off on your students. All students would agree that trying to learn from a teacher who obviously does not want to be there is the least inspiring thing in the world.
- Teach and focus on their understanding of a subject. The majority of the time, when students are not inspired or interested, it is because they don’t actually understand the subject, but won’t say so because they are scared of looking stupid in front of friends.
- Ensure you portray you kindness, trustworthiness and openness. You need to let your students feel that they can come to you for help about anything and act as a mentor as well as a teacher. Let them know that you will not let on to their peers that they are struggling and having extra help.
Whilst we can empathise with the views that many students express, we do not have to accept them. Instead we must just all try harder, in these difficult times, to ensure that we keep inspiring students to go the extra mile.