One of the key lessons I have learned in my time on this earth, perhaps because it was often repeated to me by members of my family, is the importance of starting as you mean to end. We use the word ‘intention’ a great deal with our staff. What are you ‘intending’ to achieve this year? How will you go about it? Being intentional is one of the key elements of a great teacher. While patience and flexibility and even humour have their place, the intentional teacher is one who engages purposefully with students, knowing what each lesson is building towards and what they want to see from the diverse range of individuals who sit in front of them.
Being intentional though, isn’t just good teaching practice. It is necessary in life. Accomplishments are almost never arbitrary, but the result of intentional planning, purpose and industry. In the first weeks of Term One, and indeed throughout the year, students will be encouraged to think intentionally about what they wish to achieve and what specific strategies or habits they will adopt, in order to see results. At the College we talk about setting SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time based). SMART goals may pertain to personal ambitions, as much as to academic life. The key is to provide boys with a framework for thinking clearly about what it is they wish to accomplish. For some of our boys, that question is challenging.
As parents, you can support the work being done at the College by also engaging in some intentional discussions, particularly around the Semester Two 2016 report. Reports are snapshot insights into what a student has achieved within a given time period, but they are not always indicators of potential. Where progress has been made, it should be celebrated. Where progress has stalled, consideration needs to be given to work ethic and learning strategies. Sometimes, it isn’t simply about working hard, but working smart.
To assist in this process, students from Years 6 – 10 will be issued with the Student Planner today. It would be wonderful if they came back tomorrow, having given purposeful, intentional consideration to what it is they wish to have achieved by the end of 2017.
Miss Kath Little, Dean of Learning