Education Psychology/ Soft Skills
Saugat Singh Saud
Right when we remember getting our hands on Computer Keyboard for the first time and how after year we can type the alphabets without watching it in the keyboard. From the moment we wake up and we automatically boost up our self to take a shower, brush teeth or go to gym, put gel in the hair, prepare for work or school.
At home as we enter, what do we do first? Pull off the shoes and go for a quick fresh up, Open the favorite cartoon in the television or directly hover on internet using facebook. Why these reactions do happen automatically? Why do we do what we want to do?
In the modern education world it has been really important for all of us to maintain our habits. We all have a good one and bad one. Dragging ourselves to our personal life and moving gradually in the education and business life, it is very important for every one of us to thoroughly change our habits but the main question is how we change habit.
Habit simply is the practice we follow or say the pattern we live like. From early days of our life our parents has made us brush our teeth, eat breakfast and so many such things. We have been doing it regularly that it automatically transmits through your mind. So now when you wake up, you routinely get your slippers on to do everything that you have been practicing since so long.
Same thing goes at school as well when we take ourselves to the Nursery sections where the kids are hardly managing to write a prober A and how gradually they improve day by day and finally achieve it and slowly becomes able to write word, sentence and essays. It happens because of the practice they do, the habit we create in the mind of those little kids. That which is most essential in the modern education process for all those who have their part in the field of education.
Classroom Habit clearly points on the classroom culture, the culture that teachers have deposited at the first day of the class when he presented himself in-front of the students. It includes two basic components that student plays in their mind as soon as teacher enters in the classroom as I have noticed.
1) Personality: This includes both “Internal” and “External” factors of personality. The way teacher has groomed himself to the pitch of the voice he is producing in the classroom. How kind is the teacher or how strict he became in the first day of the class. What experience and educational background does the teacher possess? It even matters how good his language skills are and how good does he use the body language. The teacher’s personality plays a vital role in powering up the Classroom Habits.
2) Pattern of Teaching: When I was in school, I used to have a teacher who was new and every Friday he would celebrate Good Friday. We used to sing, tell jokes and shout “Thank God it’s Friday”. The class would over like this every Friday and sometimes when he told to continue syllabus on some Fridays we certainly didn’t felt happy. The reason we felt bad and not focused in our studies was because we have been following that pattern for a long time. It had become our Habit to celebrate Friday.
We teachers are way too concerned in why students are making noise while he is teaching. We often question ourselves if we are doing something wrong or sometimes we question our profession but we most of the time fail to recognize the pattern we have set since the beginning of the class.
Here is the pictorial demonstration of Habit Circle
Source: The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg
This is exactly how the habit has been created. This is why we have been doing what we are doing since long. The reason we are brushing our teeth or taking a shower is because of this process within our brain.
1) Cue: Cue (Indication or Signal) that brings up your mind to work on the specific habit.
2) Routine: Routine (Practice) that can be physical, emotional or mental.
3) Reward: Reward (Gift or Prize or Return) that helps us to remember the particular thing is memorable for the future.
Creating the Classroom Habit:
As I already stated that classroom habit is totally in the hands of the teachers. First thing the teacher can do is to create the connection among the students and extracting the cues to work on with. It helps in establishing the trustworthy and healthy relation between teacher and student which is very important to go on with the effective classes ahead till the whole session which can be done through something like icebreaking sessions or classroom activities which helps a lot in breaking the barrier between teacher-student relations. Furthermore the effective lesson plan is the most important thing that the teacher should follow before the actual session begins. This helps a lot to take both syllabus and extra activities to keep away that monotonous feeling those students feel meanwhile the session. It is always very important for us teachers to recognize when students are feeling lack of confidence to understand the material covered. It helps a lot for the astonishing classroom atmosphere and also to recapture students’ attention in the lessons and ultimately get good results.
Likewise, setting up the classroom activities like to generate the habit of speaking English. The best way can be rewarding with some gifts the student who performs best in the classroom activity of English reading, writing and listening can be done to influence the habit of improving English skills in the class.
The classroom activity such as reading, composing the story, essays, dialogue, or listening and answering etc becomes the cue to the students that makes their routine to practice because their mind is constantly craving the reward they are going to receive.
There are various such techniques that depend on our own analysis on what can be the effective way to develop the habit of students. When I was at school, to make a habit of speaking in English in the class, there was a rule of collecting the Fine as a punishment for not speaking in English. That certainly helped to develop a habit of English speaking inside the particular class at least.
The above picture can be helpful to make students aware about effective habits that can make them happy