Principal’s Message

 

We have come to the end of a very productive Term Two. It has felt at times as if it has gone on for longer than the ten weeks but we have been able to achieve much in this time. I am sure all in the community will agree when I say it is ‘nice to reach the holidays’.

Generally the past ten weeks have lived up to all of our expectations with regards the trials and tribulations one comes to expect in a vibrant and dynamic secondary college. We have had a number of wonderful activities and events, mentioned in previous newsletters, that have ensured a very eventful term. We have gathered in prayer for the College Mass celebrating Mary Help of Christians, as well as our Mothers’ Day Mass, competed on a variety of sports fields, made it to a few finals, endeavoured to make a difference through social justice activities, and performed at the autumn concert. In amongst all of these activities and events we have also been able to accomplish some exciting teaching and learning. It has been a very productive and rewarding term and all involved should be congratulated for the part they played.

Last Thursday evening we had approximately 250 beautifully attired young men and women join us at Merrimu Receptions for the Year 12 Formal.  This is a celebration of a wonderful year in these kids’ lives – their final year of secondary education. The maturity and class these young people displayed was a credit to themselves first and foremost, to their parents secondly and finally to Salesian College and all the schools represented by the girls.

From the outset they arrived in a very positive, happy frame of mind, hell bent on sharing a great night together. They danced from the minute the music came on right up until the music stopped at the end of the night. They shared good humor in the way they danced and chatted, but also in the awards that were presented on the night. They interacted with their teachers showing the care and respect they had for them and their willingness to include them in their celebrations. It is a night that I hope they reflect on fondly in years to come as I know I will. This great evening follows on from last year’s Year 12 Formal, setting a tone and a tradition for all to live up to in the future.  So I say congratulations to all in attendance and a special thanks to Mrs Rhea Beurs for her work with the boys in organising the evening and bringing such a great night to fruition.

As we enter into the holiday break I thought it was timely to reflect on a habit many of us practice to our detriment. That is the art of procrastination. One anonymous author described “Procrastination as the art of keeping up with yesterday” and if this is true we will never be prepared for tomorrow. It is vitally important that our senior students are aware of this. Unfortunately for them the upcoming two weeks are more a break from classes rather than a holiday. They need to use this time to rest up as well as catching up with work and studying hard in preparation for exams that are now less than 14 weeks away.

We have all experienced the lack of enthusiasm or energy to undertake that piece of work or chore which we know has to be done, and the one thing we all know is that putting it off never makes it any easier nor does putting it off make it go away. So it is in this light that I offer the following reflection.

There are a number of factors that can affect students’ progress and one of the most common, in particular for boys, is putting things off, that is, Procrastination.
The problem can impact heavily  in a number of ways including a student’s ability to understand new concepts, the quality of their assignments or their study and ultimately it can impact on how much they enjoy school and how much stress they put themselves under.
Procrastination can be caused by many seemingly unrelated issues such as:
• Perfection – wanting to produce the ‘perfect’ assignment; being obsessed with detail and not attacking the investigation with energy or spending too much time on presentation and not the content.
• Organisation – wanting to be totally prepared, have everything completely arranged and as a result never getting started on the task at hand.
• Lack of skills – not having the necessary study or research skills to complete the task.
• Self-Doubts –lacking the self-confidence to tackle the task at hand.
• Prioritising – being unable to prioritise their activities to get things done that they have to do, completing easier tasks or less urgent tasks at the expense of the real priority.
• Motivation – lacking a sense of purpose or drive, this can stem from a number of reasons including not wanting to be at school, not enjoying the work, having to rather than wanting to.

Whatever the cause of procrastination it is essential to recognise it and address it immediately as it will not go away on its own; a team approach is the best way. Parents and teachers can assist by providing our boys with strategies to overcome it. Experience tells me there are two major factors that will allow procrastination to flourish in a holiday break; sleeping in and wanting to socialise too much. My suggestion to the boys and their parents is to set a routine that is fair and stick to it. This might mean setting the alarm for nine o’clock each morning so three hours of work can be completed before lunch, leaving the afternoon and evening free for either more study or the odd social event. It is quite remarkable how such a simple routine can assist in getting ourselves organised. Another thing we can do is to be very clear in what things we would like to achieve in the break and make sure we get them done. I am sure if you organise yourselves and get through the work you will feel very good about yourself and you will enter into Term Three with a sense of purpose. So good luck!!

I hope all the boys have a restful break, keep safe, enjoy some time with their family and friends and return in two weeks’ time ready for another big term.
God bless.