With only a few days left of half term, thoughts turn to school.
Year 12 students will be starting to think about the homework they were asked to do over the break, (like write a blog post comparing Areas of Knowledge using the Knowledge Framework – my Core Class…you know who you are!) and Year 13 students will be asking themselves whether they’ve done enough Mock prep. Teachers will be thinking about next weeks’ lessons and maybe completing some marking. Many IB teachers are attending training this weekend up in Lippo Karawaci.
And I am thinking about what’s coming soon.
A quick look at the school calendar shows next half term to be a busy one, (aren’t they all?) with Reports, Parent-Teacher consultations, Internal Assessment (IA) deadlines, Mock exams, and of course the Christmas Concert.
How are we going to do it all?
I think even more importantly than how we do everything there is to do, is how we view everything there is to do.
In Core last month we talked about Positive Thinking and some students were brave enough to admit that they tend to view the glass as being half-empty. But in managing a stressful workload, thinking positively does wonders for those of us who procrastinate or put off the things we don’t want to do. And there is some Science behind it.
But I think before we can think positively, we have to recognise the negative thoughts we have.
A good starting point is to write them down. (This is a rather unpleasant activity…but helpful) Often when we look at those thoughts in black and white we tend to see them a little bit more rationally.
The next step is replacement. How could you replace that particular negative thought with a positive one?
‘Oh no, mock exams are coming up soon, it’s going to be awful. I’m not going to do well and my life will be ruined!’
There are a number of problems with a thought like this:
1. It is based on seeing mock exams as a torture or punishment – a trial to be undertaken.
2. There’s an assumption made that it is not going to be fun. (Likely to turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy)
3. There’s an assumption that you aren’t going to do well.
4. There’s hyperbole – not doing well in mock exams = life ruined. Really?
So, what could we think differently?
How about this:
1. Mock exams are an opportunity to test what I know and can do. They help me set goals and targets for my final exams.
2. Mock exams are going to be great because I am prepared. (Obviously you can’t think this if you are not prepared. Preparation is the key to thinking positively.)
3. I’m going to do the best I can. If it’s well, great. If not, well at least I will know what to work on.
4. If I don’t do well in the mocks it isn’t the end of the world. I will just have to reassess and set goals.
This kind of thought recognition and replacement works for most things. So, before school starts again, consider your negative thoughts, replace them with positive ones and come back next week with a growth mindset and a sunshine smile!
What have you got to lose?