This week marks the end of our third term. For most of the week, our students have been completing their final assessments and exams. I appreciate that this may have been a busy and sometimes stressful time for them (and their families). During the year, we have had a consistent message about growth mindset for our young men using our PEA approach. This acronym stands for Persistence, Effort and Attitude. It is during difficult times, such as exam weeks, that we can gauge how well our young men can cope with pressure that may sometimes occur because of events...
This week marks the end of our third term. For most of the week, our students have been completing their final assessments and exams. I appreciate that this may have been a busy and sometimes stressful time for them (and their families). During the year, we have had a consistent message about growth mindset for our young men using our PEA approach. This acronym stands for Persistence, Effort and Attitude. It is during difficult times, such as exam weeks, that we can gauge how well our young men can cope with pressure that may sometimes occur because of events or circumstances that happen to them. It is important that they develop an attitude that accepts difficult times are a part of life and something that we are required to face at some stages in our lives. These times may be a consequence of their own actions or circumstances beyond their control, but they still need to be confronted. If this can be embraced by the students, it will assist them to try and confront challenging situations through persistence and added effort to reach a resolution.
In the current context of exams, adults know that there is no sense for a student to decide that they do not like exams and therefore try to avoid them. Likewise, it is nonsensical to not prepare for exams because it is too hard, boring or not something that they enjoy. Undertaking exams has always been and will most likely always be a part of schooling. Students who do the best that they can in preparing for exams develop an attitude that develops persistence and effort. When sitting the exam, this will show through persistence to the task, particularly the more difficult ones and they will also engender an ability to lift their effort to meet the more difficult tasks or situations.
The same principle applies in sport. Champion players never give up because they always think that they can get better if they persist with training and a plan. The hard part for many young people is that they may form habits whereby they always find excuses for lack of persistence or effort or their beliefs of strong persistence and effort is not at the level it needs to be. As adults, it is important for us not to “feed” these beliefs on occasions. Young people do not always need to be protected from difficult circumstances particularly if they are of their own doing, they need to accept the consequences of their own actions and use the PEA approach to meet the challenge.
Over the past week there has been much said in the media regarding a recent spate of NRL coaches blaming match officials for the results of games that did not go in their favour. From a school sport perspective, it was really pleasing to see the CEO of the NRL, Mr Todd Greenberg, make a strong stance condemning this trend. I also noted with interest the comments of the coach from Port Adelaide on the same weekend. His team had been beaten “after the siren” by a free kick that was controversially awarded. He commented that both teams were competitive and tried to the best of their abilities and on this day his team were beaten by a better one. How refreshing to hear such words of sportsmanship and respect towards the opponent who also tried hard on the day.
When poor examples of sportsmanship are shown to young people through the media it becomes very difficult for schools and schoolboy competitions to reinforce good sportsmanship. It also makes it very difficult to remind them (and some adults) that the role of an official is not easy and like the players, they do the best that they can. If these trends continue, the losers will be the young people who want to play sport but have few who are willing to officiate their games. When team selections, results and attitudes to officials and opponents move beyond the boundaries of good sportsmanship in competitive games, all enjoyable and fun tends to be lost. The enjoyment is replaced by added sources of anxiety and stress. I am sure that we have all witnessed the player who constantly argues with his coach or referee or team mates or gets that frustrated with the game that they lash out at an opponent. Likewise, we have most likely seen the adult spectator who constantly yells at and heckles referees or opposition players because of their frustration with what is happening on the field. Such actions not only cause that person (and their reputation) harm, but also cause upset and anxiety to others around them. I applaud the NRL for taking this stance and look forward to strong messages also getting down to the younger people.
During this week, Mr Alec Gold and Mr Chris Walsh travelled to Timor Leste with four of our students in Year 11. They have joined staff and students from St Edmund’s College and St Laurence’s College in undertaking some maintenance and construction work for the Christian Brothers in some of the villages. They have arrived safely and started with the work. Some of our students in Year 11 also left for Noonkanbah today with Mr Tim Kenny and Mr Nic Consiglio. I am sure that I speak on behalf of the community when I wish them all a safe and enjoyable time away.
I appreciate that there are also many parents who will not be able to take holidays with their children because of work. I hope that your sons assist you by helping around the house and being considerate of your situation. Finally, I hope that each young man has a safe and refreshing break and I look forward to working with you all again next term.
Live Jesus in our Hearts!