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Emotional safety during examinations

Mid-year exams have begun and with crunch time comes emotional upheaval. However, it is manageable and should not deter you from the end-goal of succeeding in your studies while maintaining high mental health standards.

“The exam period is a time when stress and anxiety levels are higher than usual. Stress can be positive and help you stay motivated and focused. However, too much stress can be unhelpful and can make you feel overwhelmed, confused, exhausted and edgy,” says Dr Melissa Barnaschone, Director of Student Counselling and Development at the University of the Free State (UFS).

According to Helpguide.Org: Trusted guide to mental & emotional health, “Mental and emotional health is about being happy, self-confident, self-aware, and resilient. People who are mentally healthy are able to cope with life’s challenges and recover from setbacks. But mental and emotional health requires knowledge, understanding, and effort to maintain. If your mental health isn’t as solid as you’d like it to be, here’s the good news: there are many things you can do to boost your mood, build resilience, and get more enjoyment out of life.”

For further details on topics including: Building Better Mental Health, Emotional Intelligence Toolkit, Benefits of Mindfulness, Improving Emotional Intelligence (EQ), Cultivating Happiness, visit the Help Guide. 

Dr Barnaschone has a few tips on how Kovsies can better approach academic anxiety during the examination period. Here is what she has to say:

News Archive

Rhodes professor calls for accountability in teacher education
2013-11-14

 

 Prof Jean Baxen of Rhodes University and Prof Dennis Francis, Dean of the Faculty of Education of the UFS.
Photo: Stephen Collett
15 November 2013

 



Lecture (pdf)

 

“Our education system needs quality teacher education.”

This was the message from Prof Jean Baxen, Deputy Dean of Research at Rhodes University in Grahamstown. She delivered the Education Public Lecture on ‘The lives of children, citizenship and teacher education: challenges and opportunities’ at the University of the Free State’s Bloemfontein Campus.

Growing up in White River, the rural areas of Eastern Transvaal (as it was previously known), Prof Baxen took the audience on a journey of the imagination. She shared stories of how she and fellow learners walked miles to get to school and how her son found himself in a situation of being unsure about his own racial identity, questioning what it meant to be ‘coloured’. She also related stories of how teachers are not sufficiently prepared to mediate information on HIV/Aids.

These stories revealed how little teachers cared, and also how difficult and challenging it is for learners to cope in such teaching and learning environments – thus calling for quality teacher education.

She stressed the fact that quality teacher education is needed in South Africa to assist in curbing the challenges children and fellow citizens come across in our broader society. “It is important that, as teacher educators, we should groom teachers to find and understand their identity, sexuality, and also the world they live in. There is an urgent need for us to hold ourselves and others accountable and to not distance ourselves and make it someone else’s responsibility – it is our joint responsibility as citizens,” she said.

We need a pedagogy that would navigate and start formulating a language that we could use to face these challenges, she proposed.

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