We’ve got over that period of New Year’s resolutions – the continuation of those resolutions with some of us and the slippage with others. That old line about ‘picking yourself up and dusting yourself off’ comes to mind. It is important to have something to commit to do but we shouldn’t make it a millstone around our necks.
I am particularly thinking about that at the moment as this coming Monday is the day which has been more recently termed ‘Blue Monday’. That’s not a direct reference to the 1980s New Order hit, but to the day in the year when people are more likely to be ill, depressed, off work etc. On the whole I think we’d all think this was bunkum and pseudoscience. No doubt it will have been created as a marketing ploy at some point – maybe to get people to think about the holidays or spend more money in that post-Christmas lull period.
It does, though, encourage me to think about the coming weeks and months. In our institution, as we will be discussing with pupils, we have now a significant run up to the exam season. Prior to the Christmas break, to some of us, and more importantly, to some of the children and young people, these things seem so far away. As we have discussed with Year 11, there is something like 67 school days until the exams start;13 weeks of work. That’s less time than the whole of the first term; more closely to the beginning of September through to the end of November.
We need a balance, when we are talking to children and young people about that time. We need them to understand the pressures and allow those pressures to grow within them as a sense of purpose. They need to recognise that hard work is necessary for success to follow. However, collectively we need also to balance those demands in such a way that we do not create a breaking point with and within these children and young people. There is a balance to be had. We want them to be as successful as we want them to be, and they can be, but we don’t want to put them in a position where, in trying to make progress, the system breaks them.
You will know that we all as professionals will work hard to see the individual in front of us and set for them the standards that are necessary, the work that is critical and, equally, offer the support that will be needed to allow them to maintain a personal equilibrium.
This period of time will be in desperately important in the children’s lives and for many they will see this as being the most challenging period of their life thus far. Working with them to capture that and use that desire to be a success whilst encouraging them to understand that they need to balance their behaviours over the coming months; finding time for pleasure and relaxation as much as for hard work and commitment.
‘We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.’ Stacia Tauscher
It’s a difficult balancing act and yet you can be reassured will do your very best to serve the individual and meet their needs.