Today an adorable student in fifth /fifz/ grade asked me why I kept telling them to forget about exams but at the same time kept reminding them of the exams! This is a great question, so I wanted to explain why this happens.
Students’ attitude towards exams is all wrong: it destroys their love for learning, their self-esteem, and poses a great obstacle to focusing on the (exam) tasks. In contrast, my attitude towards exams is that of a survivor who protects her love of learning and tries to help students fight their anxieties, fears and complexes. When I mention the exam my message is always: “Keep this little thing in mind [jot it down in your List of Mistakes (to avoid), in your List of Useful Language, in your List of language items you can consider using when you brainstorm for language before speaking or writing], so you can survive the fucking exam. It’s this easy! We’re LEARNING, the fucking exam is just a drop in this ocean!”
- If you want to be a rebel, you need to protect your love to things.
- If you want to survive the system, you need to protect your mind.