One of the advantages of being an adult of "mature" years is that we have the benefit of hindsight. We have lived many experiences and learned from the consequences of our choices and actions. However, imparting this knowledge onto our sons and students is not always an easy task. This is often referred to as a 'generation gap'. It is an interesting concept when one considers the repercussions of such a gap. We often remind our young men that risk-taking is a part of growing up. Obviously the context of the risk has to be kept in proportion, but...
One of the advantages of being an adult of "mature" years is that we have the benefit of hindsight. We have lived many experiences and learned from the consequences of our choices and actions. However, imparting this knowledge onto our sons and students is not always an easy task. This is often referred to as a 'generation gap'. It is an interesting concept when one considers the repercussions of such a gap. We often remind our young men that risk-taking is a part of growing up. Obviously the context of the risk has to be kept in proportion, but one can often learn more from the failures than the successes. As protective adults we feel it our duty or responsibility to pass on advice and warnings about behaviours especially given our own experiences or knowledge gleaned from many years. I believe that it is integral to our young men's development that we offer this advice. The difficult part is assisting them to take the advice or even consider it. In terms of our College, our advice is often on an individual basis through the pastoral care system, counselling or simply through staff and student relationships. This advice can be offered through simple procedures such as rules or regulations, conversations with significant adults or sometimes as a result of a misdemeanour. When dealing with adolescent men the advice may be ignored or misinterpreted for a number of reasons. However, it is important that our young men understand that once they have made a decision and chosen not to heed this advice there will be a consequence for this action. Often, it can be the consequence (provided that it is proportional and consistent) that allows them to learn from their mistakes. Sometimes young men grow up thinking that they can continue to make mistakes and they will be protected by others around them and never have to be held accountable for their own actions. In short, they do not develop a great sense of self-responsibility. One only has to pick up a newspaper and see some reports on well known personalities who may be serial offenders to see this to be the case. The unfortunate reality of growing up is that sometimes "tough love" is the best measure for learning and developing this self-responsibility. However, it is always more preferable that young people develop an ability to listen and learn from their elders to save them from this situation. In regard to our College, we believe that the development of self-awareness and self-responsibility are integral to building resilience. Therefore, ensuring that there are consequences for poor or misinformed choices is a part of assisting the young men to develop resilience.
Last Saturday heralded the last fixture of the AIC first term sports. We competed in the Volleyball and Cricket competitions. In Cricket, we finished 4 th overall in the schools' aggregate with our First XI coming second in the competition behind Marist College, Ashgrove. This was a most commendable effort across all teams, particularly the Firsts, given the strength of the competition. In Volleyball we finished 7th in the aggregate and our First VI were the undefeated premiers for 2015. This was an outstanding achievement for our Firsts and they are to be commended for their style of play, teamwork and sportsmanship across the season. The aggregate score shows that we have some work to do next year in this sport, but I am confident that we have the coaches and students to move forward in 2016. I would particularly like to congratulate Marcus Ferguson (Volleyball) and Rory Livingstone (Cricket) for their great leadership of their respective sports throughout the term.
We are now at the "pointy" end of the term in respect to student assessment and reporting. This is an interesting time as the pressures can sometimes bring out the best and worst of people. Students who are generally well-prepared and well-planned cope quite well (not withstanding anxiety), whilst other students who have not worked or planned as hard can often "drop their bundles" or blame their teachers or other things. The reports that will be generated from this term's assessments are a point in time indication of where they stand within each subject. The important learning for the students is to look at their efforts leading into the exam firstly to identify what impact that this may have had on their learning and then look to other factors that may have also been responsible. The good part about the reporting procedures is that improvements can be made provided the young man is prepared to listen and possibly make some changes. I would urge all parents to sit down with their sons and discuss their reports when they are published and look at some of these factors. Sometimes, honesty and "tough love" might need to be used. However, above all else a hopeful way forward is the outcome that we would all like to see.
I hope to meet many families at this Saturday night's Shindig. Next Thursday is our last day and Shore to Gate. This is a great way to finish the term and a wonderful College tradition. It is also a part of the community-building amongst the students, so it is important that every student attend and support each other for this worthy cause.
Mr Chris Mayes - College Principal