Overcoming negative energies that affect teaching and learning
The Centre for Learning and Teaching (CLT) organised a webinar titled “Overcoming Negative Energies that Affect Teaching and Learning in the New Normal” on 26 March 2021 via Microsoft Team. The webinar recorded a total of 109 participants in attendance.
The talk was delivered by Faculty of Creative Industries (FCI) Department of Media lecturer Zachary Roland A.F. Anthony. Also present at the talk was CLT Chairperson Dr Wei Chooi Yi. The webinar was moderated by Faculty of Engineering and Green Technology (FEGT) Department of Industrial Engineering Ir Dr K. Chandrasekaran.
The objective of the talk was to identify the challenges faced by educators and students during the pandemic, as well as introducing helpful ideas and solutions to overcome them. The participants also learnt the dynamic of teaching and learning in the new normal.
According to Zachary, anything that triggers an undesirable thought, emotion or action is called negative energies. He said, “Simple negative thoughts will create negative emotions and that will produce negative outcomes. For lecturers, if these negative energies become too overwhelming, they can daunt and affect their daily works. Although it is difficult, especially when I feel like I am not at my greatest, I still want to perform my best. Due to the uncertain pandemic, the new normal lifestyle has changed our normal life routines. Also, the pandemic has forced us to come out of our comfort zone and make effort to adapt to the new changes. In teaching and learning, our thinking, feeling and acting abilities need to be in sync for better results.”
Zachary continued his talk by enlightening how the new normal will create change, chaos, culture shock, confusion and counter-productiveness. He said that students may experience depression, anxiety, stress, loss of motivation, sleep deprivation, major distraction and lack interaction with peers. They may also be overwhelmed by negative emotions. Meanwhile, when the educators conduct online classes, they will most likely face a lack of response from the students, lack of personal touch, time management and social connection besides experiencing non-work life balance, connection problem, non-conducive environment, technological incompetency and tiredness.
“When our mind is weak, we can fall victim to sad energies. We will feel demotivated and become discouraged because we feel that we can’t overcome these negative energies alone,” he said. Despite facing a lot of negative outcomes due to the pandemic, Zachary encouraged the participants that the negative energy should be taken as a challenge to make us stronger.
Furthermore, Zachary said some resisted the new normal changes because they felt that the new normal lifestyles are temporary; they are stubborn to change and reluctant to accept the changes in their normal practices. Besides, self-ego, lack of motivation, lack of perseverance and complacency also play a major part among the people who struggle to accept the new normal changes.
He added that there are positive effects from the new normal lifestyles; for example, we can try to be more organised, practise good time management, re-programme our mind and be inspired to try something new. Moreover, he emphasised that people can discover new talents and potentials; they can also learn to be sympathetic, understanding, compassionate, passionate and creative.
Zachary added, “We have to accept the new normal situation and make the necessary changes; we need to keep building our strengths and opportunities, improve our ways of learning, overcome our weakness and keep trying. It might look impossible for now, but if you don’t try, you will never know. Always be on the lookout for improvement and do not be afraid; infuse the small changes in your life to bring a greater change to society and the environment.”
Apart from that, he said good self-management is an art of managing oneself and taking responsibility for one’s behaviour and well-being, which targets our self-awareness to leverage our strengths and weaknesses. In addition, he stated that good self-management abilities will allow individuals to maximise their productivity, initiative, confidence, analytical skills, lifelong learning, communication, resilience, honesty, flexibility and problem-solving skills.
Zachary continued his talk by introducing the A, B, C, D formula, starting with changing the way of our thinking, changing our communication styles, changing our behaviour and changing the image in our head. Furthermore, he also listed the 4A’s factors, namely acknowledging (realising it is time to make changes), accepting (agreeing on the changes made), adapting (start implementing the changes) and adopting (sustaining these changes in our life).
Dr Wei said in her remarks, “I hope this motivational talk will influence the participants on how to prevent and overcome the negative energies when we face the new normal routines. I hope the participants will also learn some helpful tips and be motivated to use the given tips to face the challenges in teaching and learning during this pandemic period.”
Before ending the webinar, Zachary advised, “The journey of new normal is not certain and it affects us as human beings and beyond. It might not be beautiful, but I’m sure we can overcome the hardships and challenges, and reinvent ourselves. We should embrace the changes, leave our self-doubt and start to adapt to our new lifestyles. Some people resist change because they think the new normal is temporary and always expect things to go back to square one. Sometimes we are too preoccupied with our current living styles, so we allow our ego to control us to feel better. However, self-belief will help us understand our self-worth and action and help us become more confident in dealing with obstacles. Perseverance means bigger effort. We can take our time to adapt to these changes, slowly but surely.”
The interactive webinar ended with Q&A and group photograph sessions.
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