Back to School Mindset reset
As we head back to school, hot on the heels of the two most difficult academic years ever experienced, it's worth taking a moment to make sure your mind is the right place to succeed.
Let's review the situation we find ourselves in and think about how we can mentally prepare ourselves for the school year ahead.
Back to School Mindset reset
Following the disruption of the last two years, and the misery that many young people (and older ones, for that matter) have experienced, I think the main thing we're all feeling at the moment is hope.
We hope that this school year will be ‘normal'.
We hope that our young people will be able to mix together, play together and sing together.
We hope that they'll be happy and fulfilled in their learning.
We hope they'll come home at the end of the day with smiles on their faces and stories to tell that brighten our hearts.
Above all, we hope that this school year will be ‘normal'.
But, lurking underneath this hope, like a dark shadow, is some uncertainty.
Whilst the NHS isn't overwhelmed, like it was in April 2020 and January 2021, and people aren't dying in the numbers they were then, people are still dying and tens of thousands are being infected everyday.
16 and 17 year olds will only have had their first vaccine doses when schools open, and younger students won't have been vaccinated at all.
We know that schools were a major arena for the community transmission of the virus.
We also know that the government, for the second year running, is determined that GCSE and A-Level exams will go ahead. We know that they've announced there will be some modifications to exam papers, but we don't know exactly what they are. We also know that they didn't have a proper contingency plan in place when exams were cancelled in 2021.
What does this mean for us as parents, students and teachers?
We each have our inividual role to play in our own success. We can plan for the situation as it is now, but we can also plan for other scenarios that might occur.
What we've learned over the last two years is that two things really count, no matter whether exams take place or not:
- Students who have the tools and skills to learn independently do the best
- Students who are able to work consistently, in a healthy way, do the best
We must all make a personal commitment, and take on responsibility, for developing our study skills and working consistently. That counts for students and parents, and is the only path to success.
The way that GCSE and A-Level grades have been awarded in the last two years has rewarded consistency. And, to be honest, it was the same before the pandemic happened and exams were cancelled.
Consistency is about showing up every day ready to learn.
It's about being organised and methodical.
It's about being the tortoise not the hare.
For some, it comes naturally, for others it takes practice. But, we can all get there.
Hope is not enough
We all hope, more than anything, that this will be a normal school year.
But, we've learned from bitter experience, that hope is not enough.
We're going to be working with our clients in The Extraordinaries Club as well as our 1:1 clients to keep their commitment and consistency high through this school year. We'll be teaching and developing the independent study skills they need to succeed no matter what, and we'll be by their sides, as we have been through the early part of the pandemic, no matter what happens.
As one member said, who was with us throughout the pandemic:
“There was a strong focus in the the communications you put out around wellbeing, it was a very strong and very clear focus on wellbeing. And that for me was really important because, bottom line, nobody learns well if they're not feeling good about themselves and feeling well in themselves.”
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