What Is the Scariest Thought Student Might Have During the Whole School Term?

What Is the Scariest Thought Student Might Have During the Whole Term?
By Ahmad Amirali

The summer vacations are over, and students are all setting their new aspirations for the new journey which is about to start or for some already started at the beginning of August. Besides the usual term classes and assessments, some things that motivate students to work hard and perform well such as new classmates, favourite teachers, reasonable classrooms compare to last years (in most cases) etc. similarly there are things that slow down students’ performance engine. In the majority of schools in Pakistan, the term started in August and most probably every school has their midterm examinations in December. The question that almost every student asks in these four months is ‘how much time left for me in this semester to improve my grades?’ Read More …

Why Suicidal Thoughts Are Appeared to Be Common Among Teens?

Why Suicidal Thoughts Are Appeared to Be Common Among Teens?
By Ahmad Amirali

Almost every year, I observe adolescents who struggled with trauma and anxiety due to social and academic pressures. The most common among all is the suicidal thoughts that are now becoming more common nowadays among teens. Last year alone, two of my previous students attempted suicide; luckily, they both survived. The underlying reasons behind these disturbing behaviours are more or less same, i.e. anxiety, peer or academic pressure etc. Family involvement and social support might help affected teens to recover from their depression, but the road to recovery can be rocky, and therefore, most of the time, adolescents find it hard to recover from their traumatic past. The question is Why the teen’s suicidal rate astonishingly increased since the past decade? Read More …

Is the Late-Night Smartphone Use turning Teenagers into Daytime Zombies?

Is the Late-Night Smartphone Use turning Teenagers into Daytime Zombies?
By Ahmad Amirali

I usually work late at night and my friends, school colleagues and even my students mostly aware of my schedule. As a result of which my ex-students mostly approach me at night even after midnight. Yesterday, a similar kind of thing happened and one of my previous year students texted me, asking my suggestions about his career choice. It was quite late at night, and unintentionally I asked him, ‘don’t you want to sleep it’s quite late?’ He replied with a usual excuse, ‘Sir, I normally sleep that late’. This reminds me of the whole term experience which I had with this kid. His class performance was above average; however, he always looks like a Somnambulist (walking in one’s sleep or under hypnosis) even during the day time in school. As children grow and move to teenage level, they become at the significant stage of their growth and development that they need more sleep than adults. (Previous Article: Sleep and Teenagers: Why Teens Need More Sleep Than Adults). The result of not having enough sleep can be devastating to teen’s mental and physical health – making them a walking ‘Daytime Zombie’. There are many factors that keep teens from getting enough sleep – one of the factors is the use of late-night smartphones. Read More …

Could Our Positive Words Negatively Affect Students?

Could Our Positive Words Negatively Affect Students?
By Ahmad Amirali

This morning, while working on my lesson plans, I reviewed an article on Power of Words that mentions the importance of using positive and encouraging language and its impacts on adolescent’s mental and personality development. I still remember, my mum used to say ‘Go on, champ!’ or ‘don’t worry! You’re a smart kid’. Similarly, my teacher used to cheer me and encourage me by using a similar kind of words. Our words play an important role in the cognitive development of our student more than anything else. One line of appreciation, one word of praise during the class, even the word ‘excellent’ meant a lot to a student who finished presenting his/her project. We all know the power of positive and affirming words and I completely agree with the article, but the question that is puzzling my mind since this morning, can positive words have a damaging effect on student development? Read More …

Nomophobia: The Rising Trend of Nondrug Addiction Among Students

Nomophobia: The Rising Trend of Nondrug Addiction Among Students
By Ahmad Amirali

Recently, I come across an article on ResearchGate and learn about the term ‘Nomophobia’ that, in my surprise, relates to a well-known issue mostly common among school and college-going students. However, this issue is now on the rise and getting more addicted and severe nowadays. Can you guess the issue? Alright, Let’s have an example, among high school and college students, what is the only thing without which students, nowadays, can’t even imagine to live? Yes, their cellular devices or in Asian context the most common term is ‘Mobile Phone’. The research highlighted that the average adolescent would rather lose a ‘pinky-finger’ than a cell phone. The result of this addiction is a growing percentage text or tweet instead of talking to others. This phenomenon of this weird cell-phone addiction among teens and youth is known as ‘Nomophobia’. It is the irrational fear of being without your cell phone or being unable to use your phone for some reason, such as the absence of a signal or running out of minutes or battery power. Read More …

The Passive Aggression: Students Act of Purposeful Hidden Revenge

The Passive Aggression: Students Act of Purposeful Hidden Revenge
By Ahmad Amirali

Being a teacher, every year, I encountered numerous students’ behaviour. Some behaviours and its reasons are known to me, but some are way too tricky for a teacher to understand at first instance. We, teachers and parents, all aware that adolescents procrastinate when it comes to finishing any tasks on time. It is because their mind prioritises the tasks as per the level of their boredom (Previous Article: Why Do Children Misbehave? – Reasons and Solutions). There is nothing to worry about it as this behaviour is common among all ages and every kid. However, it can become the matter of concern for most of the teachers and parents when student chronically procrastinates, tempers underperforms, tests the spirit of class rules, and challenges teacher’s authority in the classroom. In my early teaching years, these types of students were the ones who always know how to break every rule of my diary in a subtle way that at times I felt emotional and helpless in front of such kids. If you, as a teacher or a parent, ever dealt with or encounter such students’ behaviours, chances are maybe you’re dealing with a ‘Passive Aggressive’ student. Read More …

How Risky the Teenage Obsession of Social Media Is

How Risky the Teenage Obsession of Social Media Is
By Ahmad Amirali

Yesterday, one of my students texted me that he sent me a friendship request and it’s still pending, kindly accept it. He is now in his high school, and so I texted him back that I will look into it will confirm it. I usually don’t accept friendship requests from my students as long as they are studying with me. After which, I accepted their requests. This was an exception, However, the thought that struck my mind that my students already have my number he can contact me via call or text at any time then why is that important to him that I should accept his social media request? We can socialise face to face or via call, we humans don’t require an app or a medium to socialise with other humans. Does my students’ reaction on not accepting his friend request is the result of recent technological boom, or it is an obsession of social media itself? Read More …

Why Students Sometimes Feel Empty and Lost?

Why Students Sometimes Feel Empty and Lost?
By Ahmad Amirali

Yesterday, while reviewing my camp’s students remarks for me, I found a note of one of my camp students who once shared her depressive thoughts, which she usually encounters, especially in school. She describes that due to these depressive and empty thoughts, she even hardly concentrates on her studies. Moreover, It also affects her social life as she afraid of losing her friends will not understand her situation. She is not the only example; each year, many students share such experiences and stories with me.  The depression and anxiety are the two most uprising problems which teenagers are facing nowadays. (Previous article: Teen Anxiety | Reasons and Remedies). The reasons varied according to the age and the context in which teen is living. However, apart of contextual challenges, why students sometimes feel empty and lost even when they surrounded with so many resources, family and friends? Read More …

What Does Student “Engagement” Look Like in The Classroom?

What Does Student “Engagement” Look Like in The Classroom?
By Ahmad Amirali

As the summer break is almost over, I am assuming all the teachers around the world must be getting ready to become part of the new batch of awesomeness which will be going to commences soon. As a teacher, we all know that the most important thing for every teacher, for which he/she work really hard throughout the academic year, is how well their students will be going to engage with their taught lessons? What strategies they will use in their lesson plans to make their students engage and well participated in the classroom? However, today, while reviewing my last year lesson plans, a thought struck my mind that ‘does my students engaged with the lesson which I taught last year to them? What does “engagement with the lesson” really meant and how does it look like in the classroom?

The GER (Glossary of Education Reform) refer to student engagement as ‘the degree of attention, curiosity, interest, optimism and passion’ that students normally showed when they’ve been in the learning state.  According to GER, there are three types of engagements which students normally experienced. Read More …

How Traumatic Childhood Affects Adulthood?

How Traumatic Childhood Affects Adulthood?
By Ahmad Amirali

Today, I met one of my childhood friends after a long time, and we cherished the days when we were part of our gang of friends. It was the moment of rejoicing to me. However, not all childhood memories brought happy feelings or moment of rejoice. For some, reminiscing about childhood brought nothing but tears and traumatic memories to them. Similar kind of childhood experiences was shared to me by one of my students, aged 19, three weeks back when I was conducting educational camps in the central regions of Pakistan. Firstly, it is important to know how childhood abuse impacted the adulthood of the abused one. A child can be abused either physically/sexual abuse or mentally/neglected by parents. When a child been abused or neglected as children, they started to feel wounded, deprived and wronged by those whom they love and trust. If these wounds are not healed on time, they continue affecting the child’s subsequent relations. Read More …