So, your Year 12 year is not quite what you expected… in fact, it looks nothing like you expected. The milestones you prepared for and the learning experiences you have spent years looking forward to are suddenly looking rather unlikely.
It is okay to admit to being vulnerable, confused or disappointed at this time. But your teachers hope you remember that you are at the forefront of their thoughts – and that we are all hard at work designing learning experiences for you that will take you to the same destination – just via a slightly different route.
Recently, two of Australia’s leading thinkers in young people and wellbeing – Dr Tim Hawkes and Professor Michael Carr-Gregg – offered the following advice to the Year 12 students of 2020.
Firstly, adjust your view of your role of your teachers. You need to view them as a partner in learning or a coach. Work with them and seek individualized feedback on the work you are doing – and set yourself goals for improvement that you can monitor together.
Secondly, acknowledge that you are going to have to dig within for motivation. Spending so much time in a study alone, it will be up to you to keep focused. Do some genuine work on this, set goals and reminders to yourself of why you are working so hard. If you need help on this, speak to a teacher, a counsellor, friend or family member. Sometimes they can help remind you of what is waiting at the end of this – the job or university course you have been dreaming of.
Even though you are alone, remember that connecting and creating online study groups with others can still be a good strategy. Your peers not only serve an important social role, they can be coaches for and resources to tap into. Some may have learning strategies that you can adopt and others will learn from you. Be open to the idea of learning from each other and discussing your approaches to your work.
Learn about short term and long term memory strategies and develop an interest in learning what works for you as a student. Talk to your teachers about this! This is what coaching looks like!
Finally, stay in routine. Get up and go to bed as you would on a normal school day. Take the normal recess and break (you might even prepare these in advance as you would normally). Put your phone aside during class time as you would if you were in the classroom. And certainly try to get outside and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine after school hours. It’s all about finding new ways of doing old things!
The SMS BGS Wellbeing Hive model can provide you with some great tips for how to structure your day and the practices you can adopt to stay balanced and positive. We are committed to posting tips and information to help you thrive in these difficult times.
Also, read this beautiful letter below which has some wonderful ideas about your COVID19 mindset and how you can embrace some of the opportunities this time presents us.