Thursday, December 2, 2010

It's that sickly time of the year

Every year it comes, and students aren't ready for it. It's the sickly time of the year. Windows are closed, germs have no where to go, people forget winter hygene (wash hands frequently, sneeze into your elbow), and students start to get sick. The sickly time of the year usually coincides with the panicked-about-exams period. Students who kept telling themselves that they have plenty of time to write those outlines, catch up on their reading, and prepare for exams realize that exams are coming, and they are not ready. Add in a bad cold or the flu and you have students facing a crisis. While it may not seem like a crisis in the global scheme of events, law students are not known for keeping things in perspective.

What do you do for your students when the sickly time of the year comes? First, bring out the tissues and the hand sanitizer. You don't help anyone when you are sick yourself. Next, help them create a plan. Not only does this help them see what needs to get done, but it also helps manage the panic. Students are no longer facing a big unknown, because they have a plan.  If the panic becomes overwhelming for them, refer them to professional help.

While the advice is not ground-breaking, it can help you manage the barrage of emails and visits you get when students face sickness and exams in the same month.


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