In my last newsletter article I finished with an untranslated quote:
Non scholae sed vitae discimus.
This quote I attributed to Senica can be translated as ‘Learning is not for school but for life.’ This is a bigger view of the purpose of education. It is so important that we consider what education delivers to our students. A single mark cannot encapsulate or communicate the many attributes of any single student. Our students do not only have the chance to engage and increasingly progress in formal studies but also to explore their interests in co-curricular and extracurricular activities such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, representative sports teams, or a wide of variety of leadership opportunities within the school, just to name a few. These activities develop attitudes and skills that cannot be reflected in a mark but do equip our students for many of life’s challenges beyond school.
Year 12 Progress Meetings
Last week, I began a series of meetings with each of our Year 12 students to discuss their progress at school. During these interviews, I have been interested to find out how each of the students are finding the demands of their HSC year. The interviews present an opportunity to provide them with informal feedback on what their teachers are observing. It is very encouraging to relay the positive comments that teachers have made to the majority of students. It is also an opportunity for the students to let their teachers know what sorts of things help them learn. These discussions are vital for us in building our knowledge of our students as individuals and supporting them as is needed.
Time Management Issues
Time management is often a topic of discussion in these chats. Many students have part time jobs, which provide some income and valuable experience in the workplace. However, this is added to social, family, sporting and community, such as church, commitments. Completing work shifts during week nights also makes it harder the following day to maintain focus. As the year continues, students struggle to keep all these commitments including many hours working plus their commitments to study. Something has to give and often it is the quality of their school work. I often encourage Year 12 students to prepare (and stick to) a study timetable that maps out their commitments and schedules adequate time for assessments tasks and revision. The use of study techniques such as these and the moderation of commitments beyond study can reduce the stress experienced by our students and improve their progress.
Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
Psalm 34:8-9 (NIV)