Me, the Principal and How to Increase Marks in School/College

Sometime ago, I met the principal of a well known School in Mumbai for a “coffee shop counselling” session. She was under extreme stress. Thou she had a nearly perfect personal life professionally she was trying to full-fill the expectations of thousands by sacrificing herself.

Her stress would get magnified by not being able to find an effective way to vent out. She didn’t want to show a vulnerable side at work as her staff saw her as an able leader, her friends envied her job and never thought something could go wrong and at home she was always the daunting mother, wife and daughter-in-law.

Her main worry was the year on year declining performance of her school children. In good faith, she had implemented new approaches like vedic maths, memory training, exam stress handling workshops for the children. But the lack of results and high compulsory participation fees parents had to pay for such programmes had made her more enemies than friends.

I had a few extensive detailed counselling sessions with her and was happy to help her battle a great majority of her stress and its related physical symptoms.

Few weeks later she called me to her office. Once there she spoke about the great legacy of her school and offered me the opportunity to conduct a “memory enhancing workshop” for the tenth class children. Thou I love to accept challenges, I refused.

She tried to conceal it, but it was obvious that the refusal had hurt her ego and made her angry.

In true colours of a School principal, she “very empathically” reminded me two things. Firstly how lucky I was cause every year hundreds of speakers would wait days to get her appointment. And secondly they were an institution known to pay extremely well, so rejecting such an offer was “not professionally very wise”.

I smiled to her expected reaction and politely explain that her approach to keep feeding children with new skills and tactics on how to improve memory was nothing more than a gimmick that would please the parents, give fun-time to the children and wouldn’t have any major impact on the final results.

Her face literally turned red in anger. It was obvious in that office nobody had the authority to talk so directly and bluntly. I think being her doctor saved me from re-living my school days where going to the “principal’s office” meant a “royal scolding.”

Just before she was about to ask me to leave her office, curiosity made her ask why I was rejecting the offer.

I explained her that only 5% children ever go to effectively utilize what they are taught in such programmes. The rest 95% forget it within 5-10days. Those 5% children are anyways above average, so they fight for 5-10% increase in their over-all percentage. What should be her concern is how to have a programme that increases productivity in 45-55% of the participants, only then will she see effects at the end of the year. No worldly process is known to give 100% productivity, so expecting the same was irrational. Hence, from my point of view, conducting that workshop would be futile for the attendants. Money was not my prime concern, but effectively helping as many children as possible.

It seemed as if she had been a “maths teacher” in her yesteryears because this really aroused her curiosity to a different level. A little later in the discussion she accepted that her approach was fixated onto children because it was easier.

She also understood my concern about creating a more holistic cure for the problem rather than a quick-fix. On her request, I went back home and within a few weeks presented her with a lot of ideas on how to successfully handle the situation.

Lately she called me to inform of the success of a small pilot project that she, a group of teachers and parents conceptualised and implemented over the last few months. I was happy that some of my ideas provided the framework for a few of the modules of their project. They see now implement it on a larger scale.

Thou the space and medium doesn’t allow me to speak about all the ideas, I would like to very briefly share 5 very important points for improving the “Mind Power” of any child:

1. Super 30 approach – Super 30 is a program conducted by a teacher from Bihar. Every year he picks, nurtures and trains 30 of the poorest students from his regions to appear for one of the toughest exams world-wide, the IIT-JEE.

He has a 70% plus success rate. Why is that no other coaching institute has such a success rate?

Reason – Personal touch

2. Japan Model – The Japanese education system is one of the most successful in the globe. It’s a system whereby children themselves demand for examination rather than running away from them

Reason – Teach them how to solve a problem not to fear solving it

3. The Religious School Method – Gurukul, monasteries, madrasas, etc every individual who passes out of any of these religious institution knows hundreds of thousands of verses, their meanings and can recall them at the blink of an eye. How?

Reason – Understanding and Repetition

4. “I am not a loser” phenomenon – Nobody likes to be called a loser. Specially Children. Unfortunately most teachers and parents subconsciously call a child loser, indirectly by actions like comparing him with others or directly by telling him that he has failed to live upto their expectations.

Reason – parents and teachers lose patience and fail to understand the personality of their child.

5. The Secret – Every single self-help book in the world focuses on a simple law. The law of self-belief. The more a child has belief and positivity about himself and his capability to perform, the better he/she can perform. But with all parental encouragement still why does he fail?

Reason – Positivity and self-belief have to be cultivated, nurtured and made a personality trait. The results might not happen in a day or week, but they will surely come up.

Due to time and space, I will try in some next article to right about other very important aspects needed for better school performance like memory enhancing exercises, modalities of punishment, how to develop a vision for the future and how alternate modalities like law of attraction, self-hypnosis and even positive affirmations can bring the desired results.

Do leave your comments in the end of the article,

Dr.Hemant MittaL
Motivational Speaker - Mind-Body Healer
(MBBS, PG.DPM, M.D.(Mind Mantra Wellness Concepts - Mumbai))
(Specialize in Emotional, Behavioural, Sleep, Memory, Concentration and Sexual Health)
(www.mindmantra.in)
Contact at -
Email eksoch@gmail.com

7 comments:

  1. Doctor, You are too good. Thanks.
    Nice reading it makes.
    However the sorry state of educational institutions leaves much to be desired. Students dont attned lectures, bcos Prof are irregular, after some months Prof dont attend the class, bcos no student attends the class. Isss lukka chippi mein the academic year is over. Though parent admits ward/s in Best of colleges, addl tutuion/classes are a must, else, Baccha Pass nahi hoga........but at the end of it, degree is obtained, but what the student remembers??? What has she/he has learnt?? How much respect he would stiil have for his prof, outside the college???? This is if at all he remebers them too>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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  2. I came in here to read this Hemant, because I was the Principal of a school but found myself caught up more and more with admin duties and it is was the Holistic growth of my students that I was more interested in. This year I have switched to teaching Life skills. It is a range of topics from- Goal setting, positive thinking, the law of attraction,how to study effectively etc. I am sure this school will benefit from your inputs. Schools need to change their approach to the way they are doing things with the jug-mug approach.
    Diana Charles

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  3. It is a miserable fact and also a common trend nowadays that students join college to get the degrees and not the knowledge.This is causing irreparable loss of our future generation.
    Our education system needs some radical changes to overcome this problem.I believe few experiments like " Mind Mantra " (Personality Empowerment through Mind Power)will definitely help us in this concern.

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  4. A very good effort, congrats. The efforts of parents must lie in finding & understanding what the real problem is and accepting what their child is & can be.

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  5. Good one. In the quest to get marks we ruin the kids and leave them dry of originality... that too is a concern in today's education system. Personal touch would take care some part of it, but it will be fully taken care only if the emphasis is shifted to shaping originals out of kids.

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