The Student and Covid

The primary ingredient for progress is optimism

Here at the College we are eagerly awaiting the return of the students to face to face learning. Of course, it is with a sense of caution, but also excitement to see the students once again. Today the year 11’s & 12’s have returned and it was great to chat with them as the majority re-acquainted themselves with each other for the first time in 10 weeks. Next week we have the Year 9 and 10 students returning, followed by years 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 students on the 1st of November. Before we know it, the campus will be buzzing with student activity and socializing again. A big question on their return will be “Can we channel the excitement about returning to face to face learning into a renewed focus on effort and application to our studies?”

As students return to the College their excitement about seeing their friends for the first time in a long time will be soaring. Engaging in conversations about what they have been doing to pass the time, to how they have been connecting with others and what they thought of in regards to the key events that have happened during lockdown that they haven’t had the opportunity to discuss together. “How about NRL/AFL Grand Finals”, “Did you see how well Australia went at the Paralympics?” and “Have you played that new game online yet?”. There will be lots of excitement about catching up and debriefing about their time away. But mainly there will be lots of excitement about returning to the place that they have had such a strong affiliation with for so long.

As the students return to classes though there will be a sense of eagerness, but also some anxiety about what they may have missed or not understood during the learning from home period. The challenge for students will be to channel their excitement and enthusiasm and treat their return to school like a new start, a clean slate to build off for the remainder of term. It presents an opportunity to build on the work completed through lockdown, or for those that may have found a little more challenging, to catch up on aspects they may have missed or found difficult to comprehend.

The College teaching community completely understands that circumstances are different for all families and students at home. Some students will need more assistance than others to get back up to speed, and that is perfectly ok. It is a consequence of the environment that we, like many, have had to endure. With this in mind, the staff and College are eager to work with the students again and as a whole, look forward to seeing them all again.

As students begin their re-introduction to school we encourage them to be optimistic. Be optimistic about the opportunity to learn and progress, to forge better relationships and to set new challenges for themselves. With optimism & diligence comes progress. Looking forward and not behind, look at what they can achieve from here and channel the enthusiasm they have for seeing everyone again and returning to a sense of normality into their application and effort to their studies. After all, being optimistic, diligent and enthusiastic about the opportunity you are presented with is “Controlling what you can control”, and if you can do this, that is all that you can ever ask of themselves.

In closing, as the term and year draws closer, the sense of excitement, optimism and finality is all too real for our Y12’s. Eleanor Roosevelt once said that ‘The purpose of life is to live it, to taste it, and experience it to the utmost’. In doing so, we wish  all our seniors the best for their exams and their final few weeks as a St Edmunds College Student. Christus Lux mea.

Tim MacArthur & Trent Masters
Heads of Rice and Mulrooney House