The change in season is always an interesting time for schools. As we move quickly from summer to autumn,and with winter just around the corner, it signals the annual change in cycle for school life. For many it signals the start of winter sport, or the development of school plays and productions. For all secondary students, it is a clear signal about hunkering down and getting on the with the job at hand - learning and achieving.
For Kaipara College, the move towards the winter season is a time when a significant amount of teaching and learning is undertaken. The school is well settled, with students having their sense of belonging and knowing that schools is their safe place, despite the many disruptions the past twelve months have thrown at them. The students know the expectations that are upon them regarding their own learning, and they know what is needed for them to be able to achieve their personal success. This change in season does, however, mean the start of the next part of the school year: the real hard work.
It is this time of year when some senior students begin to look at pastures elsewhere, be it employment in the short term or post-secondary school intentions for the following year. This is the term when education and assessments start to get a little more ‘real’ with pressure being mounted and assessments being regular and common.No matter the end goal for each student, this is when they need the most support. It is challenging for them all. Yes, by the time they reach secondary school, and the later years at secondary school, they should be able to manage themselves and take responsibility for themselves, but they will always need the support and guidance of their whanau. They will need that little push occasionally and it is more then okay to be that nagging parent. Remember, you are the parent, not the friend. And one day, believe it or not, they will thank you for that too.
To ensure students achieve success, they need to be well organised. They need to have structure around them. We all support in different ways, and whanau can too. Have clear expectations of them during this time. Expect them to contribute to your household through chores and being part of your family. Expect them to get their best possible grades. Expect them to meet all their deadlines for assessments and if they have signed up for a winter activity, expect them to maintain that commitment too. We would expect that of ourselves, and teenagers are no different.
Yes, the change in seasons can be tough for us all, but now is the time for resilience.It is a time for young people to develop their own resilience. Its far too easy to stay in bed and snuggle under the blankets – we can all relate to that! But now is the time to focus and do the mahi to get the rewards later in the year.