In this month, Al Hikmah is welcoming new students who have various background study experience. For students who have had trouble in previous school, or who have had a bad experience in teaching-learning process, it is important for us as senior or lectures to promote a fresh start. And for all new students, having a positive mindset makes learning much more likely.
Identify and Aim for “Who Am I”?
All new students are coming to the campus, it’s a good time to help them focus on learning, their strengths, and the personal and other resources that will help them succeed. New students can individually fill out the grid below, and then pair-share, discuss in small groups, and finally share with the class some of their responses.
You may also wish to use other creative forms of sharing, such as having new students create a collage or chart with all of their answers to each question or the top three answers to each question. Consider integrating this activity into any journal writing.
- What motivates me?
- What are my best abilities?
- How do peers/seniors/lectures influence me?
- When and with whom am I at my best?
- Who are my best sources of help?
- How can I do more of what will best help me to succeed?
A Living Poll
Read each statement and, based on the new students ’ opinions, have them move to a part of the room that we designate to represent each of the answers below. The three areas of the room are for those who believe any of these three answers:
- It’s mostly true for me.
- It’s partly true and not true.
- It’s mostly not true for me.
We can choose to present the following questions positively or negatively:
- “I think study/learn about something new is pointless.” OR “I think study/learn about something new is important, and I need to learn so that I can succeed.”
- “I can be violent in some situations.” OR “I am more peaceful and would only use violence where there is a real danger.”
- “I think that trying doesn’t matter.” OR “I believe that the more I try, the more I can succeed.”
- “I do what makes me popular with others in campus/mahad.” OR “I do what I want and what I think is the right thing to do.”
- “I come to class to pass the time.” OR “I am someone who wants to be involved in campus/mahad activity and learn.”
After each statement (or others that you may wish to add), ask the new students in each area of the room to share why they believe as they do. There is great value in the new students hearing peers’ views about why they have turned to a more positive mindset. And it’s instructive for the lecturers as well as seniors to get a sense of the new students’ views. Note that the new students may move to an area where they “think” that the lecturers/seniors wants them to be.
Asking them to articulate why they believe as they do is your check — and their reality check — on whether they really do have the belief that they’ve endorsed. You may want to end with a discussion of the challenges of sharing honest opinions.
Journaling About Beliefs and Mindset
As a supplement to the above or as an activity in its own right, have the new students respond in their journals to at least one of each stem:
- I used to be _______ but now I am _______
- I used to think _______ but now I think _______
- I used to do _______ but now I do _______
There is added benefit to revisiting these activities mid-year, or even after each marking period, to see how ideas are changing (positively or negatively).
Make a Good First Impression
First impressions matter. Seniors need to accompany all new students during their Pembaharu (pengenalan mahasasiswa baru). We believe that this is the most critical moment when all new students are adapting their life circle to the new environment. All seniors need to inform whats the new students need to do/dont for mahad and campus life and help them to build up new habit which is fit on campus/mahad regulation.