Under pressure…

So, exam season is here again… yay oh yippee yay… believe it or not, teachers find it as stressful as pupils. Mock marking, revision sessions, dealing with individual issues, the last minute panic… we all feel it, and we don’t even sit the exam!!

Pressure is unavoidable, whether you put it on yourself or others put it on you. How you deal with that pressure is crucial.

In the last two weeks of news, we’ve seen many examples of pressure, whether it’s dealing with sharing your wedding day with the billions watching around the world, persuading the world that infiltrating another country to take out the world’s most wanted man was the right thing to do, or trying to pick up the pieces after a disastrous day at the polls!

And if you’re in the spotlight, then how you deal with the pressure is even more vital. Even in the age of super-injunctions, the rich, powerful and famous are under intense scrutiny. Will history be kinder to them perhaps? If what we study is anything to go by, then no!

Comparing Nicholas II of Tsarist Russia with the successors of Lenin and Stalin, and you see similar problems and pressures, but different approaches and differing degrees of success. These events help us assess their characters. Likewise, as we study the Cold War, we compare many different individuals, returning to Stalin, but also considering Truman, Eisenhower, Khrushchev and Reagan. Our opinions on these men are largely based on how they dealt with pressure.

Major events this month also tell us something about dealing with pressure. On the 4th May 1979 Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister, and whatever your thoughts on her time in office, she knew how to handle pressure! On the 12th May 1949 the Soviets cracked under pressure and lifted the flawed Berlin Blockade.
So what will “history” say about you this summer? Are you handling the pressure? Remember- these exams do require a lot of hard graft, so get stuck in. But have some balance, make your time ‘black and white’- revise hard, and then relax properly! Remember, you all understand how to do the exam, so focus on what you’ll need to be talking about.

Good luck!

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