High School

The student throws their bag onto the floor and slumps into a chair, looking as if an erupting volcano may not be able to move them from their place of rest. Except it’s not rest, they’re done, and the slump is as metaphorical as it is literal.

This scene may bring to mind moments for you or your family this year or you may have even seen it yourself in the last few weeks. Perhaps you’ve even been the slumper. Whatever the case may be, there is a typical fatigue around this time of the school year where students, their families and staff can feel like they are ‘running on empty’. It is at this very time where we need to dig deep to monitor our self-talk, utilise self-awareness, regulate our emotions and be mindful of our communication.

In monitoring our self-talk we need to be conscious of the stories we tell ourselves and how we choose to engage or prepare for situations. Utilising self-awareness allows us to focus on how we are approaching a situation. Regulating our emotions allows us to take control of how we interact with the situation. Being mindful of our communication allows us to speak with others in a way that edifies them. If all the members of our community are patiently adopting these principles, the infection of negativity, tiredness and dissatisfaction can be fought.

A typical day adopting these principals could look like:

· Self-talk – Replacing “I’m exhausted” with “I’m noticing I’m tired and my energy levels are low”. Whilst this is a subtle change it leads to a different approach to the situation where a student faces correction in the classroom.

· Self-awareness – Replacing “That person is picking on me” with “Maybe my tiredness is leading to a lack of focus in the classroom.”

· Regulating our emotions – Replacing “I’m angry with them” with “I have limited patience because I’m tired.”

· Being mindful of communication – Replacing an aggressive response with taking a breath before engaging in the situation.

Behind all of this intentional communication is the desire restore relationship. We need to model to each other how to engage with people when we are in this depleted state. This is hard work when we feel physically, emotionally or mentally tired and we need to remind ourselves of positive communication and self-talk practices. Above all, we need to have the humility to apologise when we realise that we have let ourselves, or others, down by allowing ourselves to respond poorly whilst in a depleted state.

So how can we proactively seek to work positively in our communities? With the patience to look past the visible emotion and seek to understand the other person enough to settle down; with the kindness to accept that their initial response may not be their best and giving them the opportunity to communicate more effectively; and with the humility to admit that we have not given our best responses at times, to apologise where necessary and seek forgiveness in order to restore relationship.

I encourage all members of our community to slow down, continue to be resilient and consider how they can best serve others.

God Bless,
Mr Scott Roby
Dean of Students 10-12