How To Become A Good Student
This is a guide to becoming a good student. No matter who you are, if you try hard enough you can succeed!
This book is intended for those who are looking for some tips on improving their abilities, as a student and as a person. Implementing some of these ideas into academic life will surely help a student perform better in the classroom.
Hopefully everyone reading this work will learn something that they can do to become a better student and be more successful.
Qualities of a good student
Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders. The qualities of the student are of great impact to determine the student's bright future and career. So, who is a good student? What are the qualities of a good student? Historically, the term ‘student’ refers to anyone who learns something. However, the recent definition of a “student” is mostly used to refer to anyone who attends school, college, or university.
What are the qualities of a good student?
- Attitude: Basically, a good student possesses the ability and willingness to learn new subjects even if the subjects are not interesting.
- Academic skills: Acquiring academic skills is the most important quality of a good student. Ability to read comprehensively, to write effectively, to speak fluently, and to communicate clearly are the key areas in which a student must be proficient. Having a good command in all these areas will make a student to shine in the class.
- Ability: A good student has the ability to apply the results of his or her learning into a creative way and achieve the goals.
- Perceptiveness: How well a student can interpret and perceive meanings from a conversation greatly determines the quality of a student. A good student always perceives right meaning from conversations, but an average student often misunderstands the original thoughts of a speaker or writer and derives a wrong conclusion.
- Self-Discipline: Discipline in managing the time is an important factor that every good student must possess. Often delaying the tasks, such as writing assignments, reading text books, etc, may negatively impact the ability of a student to achieve the goals.
- Understanding rather than memorizing concepts: Resolving any doubts by asking about them on the spot is always a good thing. Several surveys suggest students must understand the concepts rather than just memorize them. The memorized facts and theories will stay in student's memory until they leave school, college, or university. Once out of school, the students will totally forget the core concepts that they had learnt. Therefore, it is essential for a good student to understand the concepts.
To become a good student, you need to get motivated! Motivation can come from seeing the situation of many poor children around the world who are not lucky enough to get a proper education. This is a good thing to keep in mind when you find yourself not wanting to attend class or study at home. Another reason to get motivated to study is that you will enjoy a better quality of life as an educated person. Possibly another reason is to look at people who are famous today, and looking into their education, degrees, grades, school records, etc.
All you need is confidence! For that, you need to feel that we are enjoying and bettering themselves, study can be looked as a competition and divided as a team task. You should avoid forcing yourself to study, as this will make learning a chore and you will not feel like even opening your books, and possibly make you lose your interest in studying. You may have many academically good students in your courses, try becoming friends with them (or encourage your fellow students to be better), and you'll be immersed in an academic environment which will help you feel motivated! But be careful not to make them think you're "using" them, just to get good grades, maybe try being actual friends with them!
Concentration follows eagerness. This section provides you with the basics of "Concentration" and also provides you with advice as to how to get aroused with concentration.
You need to pay attention in a class. Don't start chatting with your peers/friends when the teacher turns their back to you. Even better, don't associate with distracting people. You should realize that the people in your class play an important role in how everybody progresses. However, if you are a good student you will do better and achieve your goals. If you decide to associate with distracting people, or goof of in class, you'll regret it later and receive punishments from the school.
Your friends will be there for you at that time, if they are trustful and of a good reputation. At home, study and do your homework in a place that doesn't make you sleepy. It is advisable to have a dedicated study table or desk. Don't do your study work in front of the TV, radio, stereo, etc. That would be pointless because you are meant to be thinking about your studies.
If you feel distracted, take a short break of 15 minutes or less; maybe try to read an unrelated story book. But don't start sticking to the book if the time limit is over. Bookmark the page and then you can read it later on. You should also have a daily routine/timetable to guide you, but you must follow it through. It might be difficult to begin with, but hard beginnings make good endings.
Avoid conflicts; this will move your attention from listening to what your teacher says! "Honored zeros are better than copied hundreds". Avoid cheating. Be honest with yourself and others about what you have learned; if you don't know the answer leave it. Use it as a way to improve your knowledge of the subject. Remember, study well now, and you will have the chance to have fun after you achieve your goals!
One of the main things that decides a person's or child's future is their behavior. Learning textbooks and achieving 100% is not enough. People should think that you are the only all-rounder that has good manners. Obey your elders, don't bully your classmates at school. Remember, try imagining yourself in the other person's situation, and you'll know how much you hurt them with your actions. Say hello to your teachers and schoolmates when you see them, people will appreciate your friendliness and be friendly in return. Use good manners in class. Raise your hand, don't interrupt if someone is speaking, and if you don't have a nice thing to say, then don't say anything at all.
Above all, try helping your friends in any situation and you'll be remembered as one of the best friends at school! Don't just do it for a good reputation, but for a good future and for yourself. You should also know that words from your mouth are enough to break relationships (or worse) so don't utter foul, discouraging, or insulting words. If someone is being rude, don't encourage them by laughing because that only makes them continue in their bad behavior.
Don't take this as a lecture, but as a guideline! Behavior should be first and then comes academics. Even if you aren't good at school, you'll be famous for your behavior, and good friends are truly worth more than gold.
Your behavior should be such in a way that it should impress others.
The following chapter examines research on motivation. While the information presented here is based on motivation in the workplace, many of the concepts are applicable to students as well.
The management of people at work is an integral part of the management process. To understand the critical importance of people in the organization is to recognize that the human element and the organization are synonymous. An well-managed organization usually sees an average worker as the root source of quality and productivity gains. Such organizations do not look to capital investment, but to employees, as the fundamental source of improvement. An organization is effective to the degree to which it achieves its goals. An effective organization will make sure that there is a spirit of cooperation and sense of commitment and satisfaction within the sphere of its influence. In order to make employees satisfied and committed to their jobs in academic and research libraries, there is need for strong and effective motivation at the various levels, departments, and sections of the library.
Motivation is a basic psychological process. A recent data-based comprehensive analysis concluded that competitiveness problems appear to be largely motivational in nature (Mine, Ebrahimi, and Wachtel, 1995). Along with perception, personality, attitudes, and learning, motivation is a very important element of behaviour. Nevertheless, motivation is not the only explanation of behaviour. It interacts with and acts in conjunction with other cognitive processes. Motivating is the management process of influencing behaviour based on the knowledge of what make people tick (Luthans, 1998). Motivation and motivating both deal with the range of conscious human behaviour somewhere between two extremes:
• reflex actions such as a sneeze or flutter of the eyelids; and
• learned habits such as brushing one's teeth or handwriting style (Wallace and Szilag 1982: 53).
Luthans (1998) asserts that motivation is the process that arouses, energizes, directs, and sustains behaviour and performance. That is, it is the process of stimulating people to action and to achieve a desired task. One way of stimulating people is to employ effective motivation, which makes workers more satisfied with and committed to their jobs. Money is not the only motivator. There are other incentives which can also serve as motivators.
Specific employee attitudes relating to job satisfaction and organizational commitment are of major interest to the field of organizational behaviour and the practice of human resources management. Attitude has direct impact on job satisfaction. Organizational commitment on the other hand, focuses on their attitudes towards the entire organization. Although a strong relationship between satisfaction and commitment has been found, more recent research gives more support to the idea that commitment causes satisfaction. However, most studies treat satisfaction and commitment differently, especially in light of things like downsizing that are part of modern organizations.
The way librarians in research and academic institutions perceive motivation influences their level of satisfaction and commitment. While job satisfaction and commitment have been the topic of many studies, but the present studies is presents new information and a new perspective, describing job satisfaction, motivation and commitment of librarian particularly in the context of Oyo state, Nigeria.
Along with perception, personality, attitudes, and learning, motivation is a very important part of understanding behaviour. Luthan (1998) asserts that motivation should not be thought of as the only explanation of behaviour, since it interacts with and acts in conjunction with other mediating processes and with the environment. Luthan stress that, like the other cognitive process, motivation cannot be seen. All that can be seen is behaviour, and this should not be equated with causes of behaviour. While recognizing the central role of motivation, Evans (1998) states that many recent theories of organizational behaviour find it important for the field to re-emphasize behaviour. Definitions of motivation abound. One thing these definitions have in common is the inclusion of words such as "desire", "want", "wishes","aim","goals", "needs", and" incentives". Luthan (1998) defines motivation as, "a process that starts with a physiological deficiency or need that activates a behaviour or a drive that is aimed at a goal incentive". Therefore, the key to understanding the process of motivation lies in the meaning of, and relationship among, needs, drives, and incentives. Relative to this, Minner, Ebrahimi, and Watchel, (1995) state that in a system sense, motivation consists of these three interacting and interdependent elements, i.e., needs, drives, and incentives.
Managers and management researchers have long believed that organizational goals are unattainable without the enduring commitment of members of the organizations. Motivation is a human psychological characteristic that contributes to a person's degree of commitment (Stoke, 1999). It includes the factors that cause, channel, and sustain human behaviour in a particular committed direction. In Adeyemo (1999), Stoke goes on to say that there are four basic assumptions about motivation practices t must be understood:
- Motivation is commonly assumed to be a good thing. One cannot feel very good about oneself if one is not motivated.
- Motivation is one of several factors that go into a person's performance (e.g., as a librarian). Factors such as ability, resources, and conditions under which one performs are also important.
- Managers and researchers alike assume that motivation is in short supply and in need of periodic replenishment.
- Motivation is a tool managers can use in organizations. If managers know what drives the people working for them, they can tailor job assignments and rewards to what makes these people "tick." Motivation can also be conceived of as whatever it takes to encourage workers to perform by fulfilling or appealing to their needs. From Olajide (2000), "it is goal-directed, and therefore cannot be outside the goals of any organization whether public, private, or non-profit."
Strategies to Motivate Workers
Bernard in Stoner, et al. (1995) accords due recognition to the needs of workers saying that, "the ultimate test of organizational success is its ability to create values sufficient to compensate for the burdens imposed upon resources contributed." Bernard looks at workers, in particular librarians, in an organized endeavour, putting in time and efforts for personal, economic, and non-economic satisfaction. In this era of the information superhighway, employers of information professionals or librarians must be careful to meet their needs. Otherwise, they will discover they are losing their talented and creative professionals to other organizations who are ready and willing to meet their needs and demands. The question here is what strategies can be used to motivate information professionals, particularly librarians?
The following are some strategies:
1. Salary, Wages and Conditions of Service
To use salaries as a motivator effectively, personnel managers must consider four major components of a salary structures. These are:
- job rate - the importance the organization attaches to each job
- payment - encourages workers or groups by rewarding them according to their performance
- personal or special allowances - associated with factors such as scarcity of particular skills or with long service
- fringe benefits such as holidays with pay, pensions, etc.
It is also important to ensure that the prevailing pay in other library or information establishments is taken into consideration in determining the pay structure of their organization.
Akintoye (2000) asserts that money remains the most significant motivational strategy. As far back as 1911, Frederick Taylor and his scientific management associate described money as the most important factor in motivating the industrial workers to achieve greater productivity. Taylor advocated the establishment of incentive wage systems as a means of stimulating workers to higher performance, commitment, and eventually satisfaction. Money possesses significant motivating power in as much as it symbolizes intangible goals like security, power, prestige, and a feeling of accomplishment and success. Katz, in Sinclair, et al. (2005) demonstrates the motivational power of money through the process of job choice. He explains that money has the power to attract, retain, and motivate individuals towards higher performance. For instance, if a librarian or information professional has another job offer which has identical job characteristics with his current job, but greater financial reward, that worker would in all probability be motivated to accept the new job offer. Banjoko (1996) states that many managers use money to reward or punish workers. This is done through the process of rewarding employees for higher productivity by instilling fear of loss of job (e.g., premature retirement due to poor performance). The desire to be promoted and earn enhanced pay may also motivate employees.
3. Staff Training
No matter how automated an organization or a library may be, high productivity depends on the level of motivation and the effectiveness of the workforce. Staff training is an indispensable strategy for motivating workers. The library organization must have good training programme. This will give the librarian or information professional opportunities for self-improvement and development to meet the challenges and requirements of new equipment and new techniques of performing a task.
4. Information Availability and Communication
One way managers can stimulate motivation is to give relevant information on the consequences of their actions on others (Olajide, 2000). According to Olajide, there is no known organization in which people do not usually feel there should be improvement in the way departments communicate, cooperate, and collaborate with one another. Information availability brings to bear a powerful peer pressure, where two or more people running together will run faster than when running alone or running without awareness of the pace of the other runners. By sharing information, subordinates compete with one another.
Studies on work motivation seem to confirm that it improves workers' performance and satisfaction. For example, Brown and Shepherd (1997) examine the characteristics of the work of teacher-librarians in four major categories: knowledge base, technical skills, values, and beliefs. He reports that they will succeed in meeting this challenge only if they are motivated by deeply-held values and beliefs regarding the development of a shared vision. Vinokur, Jayarantne, and Chess (1994) examine agency-influenced work and employment conditions, and assess their impact on social workers' job satisfaction. Some motivational issues were salary, fringe benefits, job security, physical surroundings, and safety. Certain environmental and motivational factors are predictors of job satisfaction. Colvin (1998) shows that financial incentives will get people to do more of what they are doing. There is a little difference between the motivational needs of public and private sector employees, managers, and non-managers. Silverthrone (1996)
5. Job Satisfaction
Locke and Lathan (1976) give a comprehensive definition of job satisfaction as pleasurable or positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of ones job or job experience. Job satisfaction is a result of employee's perception of how well their job provides those things that are viewed as important. According to (Mitchell and Lasan, 1987), it is generally recognized in the organizational behaviour field that job satisfaction is the most important and frequently studied attitude. While Luthan (1998) posited that there are three important dimensions to job satisfaction: • Job satisfaction is an emotional response to a job situation. As such it cannot be seen, it can only be inferred. • Job satisfaction is often determined by how well outcome meet or exceed expectations. For instance, if organization participants feel that they are working much harder than others in the department but are receiving fewer rewards they will probably have a negative attitudes towards the work, the boss and or coworkers. On the other hand, if they feel they are being treated very well and are being paid equitably, they are likely to have positive attitudes towards the job. • Job satisfaction represents several related attitudes which are most important characteristics of a job about which people have effective response. According to Luthans these are: the work itself, pay, promotion opportunities, supervision and coworkers.
Job satisfaction of the librarian naturally depends on the economically, social and cultural conditions in a given country (Ebru, 1995). A librarian who can not get a sufficient wage will be faced with the problem of maintaining his or her family's life. This problem puts the librarian far from being satisfied. Therefore, job satisfaction can be affected by social factors outside of the control of the employer. For example, a lack of public transportation options available to the worker between home and workplace can affect their job satisfaction.
Low wages and lack of status and social security also affect motivation. Job satisfaction of the librarian who has an important place in the information society will affect the quality of the service he renders. In this respect, the question of how the material and moral element affect the job satisfaction of the librarians gains importance (Ebru, 1995).
Job satisfaction is so important in that its absence often leads to lethargy and reduced organizational commitment (Levinson, 1997, Moser, 1997). Lack of job satisfaction is a predictor of quitting a job (Alexander, Litchtenstein and Hellmann, 1997; Jamal, 1997). Sometimes workers may quit from public to the private sector and vice versa. At the other times the movement is from one profession to another that is considered a greener pasture. This later is common in countries grappling with dwindling economy and its concomitant such as poor conditions of service and late payment of salaries (Nwagwu, 1997). In such countries, people tend to migrate to better and consistently paying jobs (Fafunwa, 1971). Explaining its nature some researchers (e.g. Armentor, Forsyth, 1995, Flanegan, Johnson and Berret, 1996; Kadushin, and Kulys, 1995) tend to agree that job satisfaction is essentially controlled by factors described in Adeyemo's (2000) perspectives as external to the worker. From this viewpoint satisfaction on a job might be motivated by the nature of the job, its pervasive social climate and extent to which workers peculiar needs are met. Working conditions that are similar to local and international standard (Osagbemi, 2000), and extent to which they resemble work conditions of other professions in the locality. Other inclusions are the availability of power and status, pay satisfaction, promotion opportunities, and task clarity (Bolarin, 1993; Gemenxhenandez, Max, Kosier, Paradiso and Robinson, 1997).
Other researchers (e.g. MacDonald, 1996; O'Toole, 1980) argue in favour of the control of job satisfaction by factors intrinsic to the workers. Their arguments are based on the idea that workers deliberately decide to find satisfaction in their jobs and perceive them as worthwhile.
Studies of job satisfaction and librarianship seem to consistently show there is a relationship between professional status and the job satisfaction. High levels of job satisfaction are observed in those professions that are of good standing in society.
Age is one of the factors affecting job satisfaction. Different studies conducted show that older workers are more satisfied (Davis, 1988:100). Kose (1985) found a meaningful relationship between the age and job satisfaction; Hamshari (1983), age and professional experience (Delia 1979; Hamshari 1986), educational level (Well-Maker, 1985; Hamshari, 1986); level of wages (Vaugan and Dunn in Adeyemo, 1997); sex (D'elia 1979; Lynch and Verdin, 1983).
St. Lifer (1994) reports the results of a survey of librarians' perceptions of their jobs. These include compensation and benefits, advancement opportunities, and technological challenges. The result showed that salaries and benefits are related to job satisfaction. Horenstein (1993) reported on a study that examined the job satisfaction of academic librarians as it related to faculty status. The finding indicated that librarians with academic rank were more satisfied than non-faculty groups. Predictors of satisfaction included perceptions of participation and salary. Nkereuwen (1990) reviews theories on job satisfaction and evaluates their relevance to the work environment of libraries. Paramer and East (1993) discuss previous job satisfaction research among Ohio academic library support staff using Paul E. Specter's job satisfaction survey. The 434 respondents indicated general satisfaction among females with less experience who worked in public services. Tregone (1993) tried to determine the levels of cooperation of media specialists and public librarians. A significant correlation was shown between the level of satisfaction and the type of library, although librarians in public libraries showed greater satisfaction. Similarly, the result of some other studies have shown meaningful relations between job satisfaction and wages, management policy, working conditions, possibilities of promotion, gaining respect, the size of the organization and self development and achievement of the use of talents (Ergenc, 1982a; Sencer, 1982; Kose, 1985; Yincir, 1990). Philips (1994) studied the career attitudes of 109 master level librarians and the relationship between age, career satisfaction and career identity. His results indicate that over time librarians become more happy with their profession and more committed to their line of work.
Apart from improving yourself, try spreading your skills among others. This is the section that provides you with all the things necessary in sharing your skills. Co-operation is helping each other out so everyone benefits, it's the opposite of competing, where everyone wants to win for themselves. Most learning is done with the help of others, so learning to cooperate is a valuable skill for anyone.
Study partners are a wonderful tool. They save time and they help reinforce what you have learned. Divide a reading assignment in half. Study your section using any and all note taking strategies you have (e.g., Venn diagrams, outlines, note cards, coloured highlighters). When you both have an understanding of your readings, take turns 'teaching/explaining' it to the other person.
As you adjust your explanation to your partner, you will reinforce the concept for yourself. It works because as you think about how to explain the topic, you must understand it first! Teachers are like students who have a bit extra knowledge. To gain this knowledge visit libraries to read extra books. If you are confused by a book you are reading, ask your teacher. It really helps.
You need to be successful in all classes and not mess about talking to friends and keep to the school rules. You can achieve things by setting targets for yourself and working towards them. Nobody is perfect in every subject. You have strengths and weaknesses that you have to accept. As long as you try hard every day, you will be successful. Sometimes success is just going to bed at night knowing you did the very best you could do. That's all anyone can ask of you.