Dealing with stress

NUS’ Counselling Centre highlights their Exam Anxiety webpage in the weeks leading to the exams.

Besides the peak period focus, students under excessive stress aren’t out my mind the rest of the semester. I adopt strategies in each module, integrate those into the teaching. A balance has to be struck with module standards but it is usually complimentary.

To maintain my awareness and alertness, I talk to teacher-friends armed with case study histories, discuss some aspects with friends on my mailing lists, reflect on past incidents and read some journal papers. This helps me to maintain an appreciative grasp of the issue over the years. Now that I actually have time to prepare my teaching, I want to consult the pros!

So after the Faculty of Science workshop, “Teaching is OUR Priority” last Friday, I way-layed the Counseling Centre’s head for a quick chat. I will drop in after clearing the exams so examine strategies and get advice about those and profiles. I am certainly looking forward to the consult – my previous session was a long time ago at Changi Village after a Pedal Ubin ride. One of the staff attended the ride and I ran a bunch of stuff by him – the benefits of being a guide!

It’s important to think about and review pre-emptive measures every year, just as we should do for fire and field safety. And you have to try look for loopholes. I find that exercise useful for teaching methods as well. Since I have field safety guidelines to pen, May is going to be safety month!

See “Struggles of Students Today,” by Ann-Marie Lew. Alumnus, Apr 2007.

Exhausting week, too tired to blog

I have been hunting down students, marking and processing marks for the past two weeks. Did what I could and my Reading Week schedule went out the window; good lesson though. It’s all over now and boy oh boy, was excel useful! I updated the post about excel functions I use to check marks and will provide it with figures as a webpage for the TAs. I will be getting them to use the gradebook functions built into NUS’ web-based IVLE system.

Am now dealing with the last of student queries via MSN; setup a account for that. Still have the honours theses to examine this weekend. Hopefully I finish that before the exams begin on Monday. I am actually looking forward to marking exam papers to make comparisons after the changes in teaching methods I applied this semester.

Meanwhile, the exam invigilation reminders have turned up at the entrance of the department office. This announces the final and critical leg of the semester. Laurence used to present them like performance billings but I guess he’s too busy mopping up coffee to get fancy. At least he kept the colour, very useful. Its a good reason to drop by the department office every now and then. You can keep track of breaking news!

The notice reminded me of the stress our students must be under so I I SMS-ed cheery greetings to my research students and Toddycats project managers – I had their numbers in my handphone and ssw their replies come in thick and fast!

Thankfully, back at home, Mr Bats has been keeping me company during my marking processing and student hunting phase. He will reprise that role next week.


Sometimes he crawls in to a nice comfortable bag and territorially swipes at my hand when it ventures too close his “cave door”…