“There is no stupid question! Except, possibly, a question not asked.” -Christer Romson
Everyone of us faces problem, big and small.
Students face problem in learning, in passing examinations, in communicating with classmates, teachers and parents, in handling stress, in boy-girl relationship...
Parents face a different set of problems. Working parents must learn how to balance work and family life. Some face problems in having a proper conversation with their children. Many don't seem to know what's happening to their children in school. Many don't understand the reason(s) for their children not doing well despite sending them to tuition classes, arranging for one to one private tutors to come to their house.
Today, I'm writing this post to share with you as a student or parent how I handle my set of problems and you can probably get a few practical tips when you read further.
As many of you know, I teach. I coach. My problem is getting students to ask questions openly. First, we need to understand why students don't ask and would rather remain quiet.
Fear of being embarrassed.
Fear of asking 'stupid' questions.
Fear of being laughed at.
Fear of falsely labeled (by classmates) of being attention-seeking.
So why is it important for students (and parents) to ask questions?
- It helps them to clarify any doubts instantly instead of being accumulated at the back of their head months after months.
- Asking promotes thinking. The fact you ask shows you're thinking! It makes you more of a thinker instead of just being a sponge; only absorbing.
- By asking, it gives me (the trainer) an indication if the students have understood what have been discussed. I can then move on to the next concepts.
- Asking relevant questions keep your mind alert and attentive as understanding is reinforced.
So what do I do to get students to ask questions?
- I lead by example. I ask them questions first. It can be questions about the concepts we've just discussed or it could be something related to their school, clothing, bags, shoes, movies they watch, hobbies they have. Just get them start talking.
- I thank you for every question they ask. It's a form of emotional reward for them.
- I encourage all my students to ask any questions freely and that there isn't any stupid question in my class.
If you're a student reading this post now, ask yourself: Could you've been better in the subject when you just ask a few more questions? Are you going to allow fear (FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real) from paralyzing you? What is one action you're going to do today? Are you going to continue to 'act blur' and pretend that everything's okay when it isn't?
If you're a parent reading this post, ask yourself: Do you know what your child is going through? Is your child happy in school? Is your child doing well in the subjects or is he failing miserably? Is he pretending everything's okay? Is he saying that he knows what to do to buck up? Is he telling you not to care?
We need courage, support and encouragement to face our problems.
We need to act in spite of fear to achieve great things.
We need to constantly remind ourselves that fear is nothing but a feeling and we can take control and turn it into energy.
Leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you on how you handle your fear, your problems.