8 November 2019
Transition Program 2019
There is a buzz of excitement in the air, and not just because we draw ever closer to the long warm days of the summer break. Our students and staff are looking forward to the Transition Program that will commence on Friday 22 November. We are excited to launch this program for the first time this year for all of our students, giving each girl an opportunity to experience two weeks of her 2020 classes at the end of this year. Previously, we had our senior students in transition classes while the remainder of the school finished the year with their current timetable. With the whole community in transition we are able to support quality learning time, limiting the need to swap and change teachers who were operating under two different timetables. I would like to acknowledge the efforts of Mr Frank Bonavia, who has worked to deliver the College timetable earlier than normal to ensure a sound start to our 2020 curriculum from Friday 22 November. Teaching staff have also been working to ensure that their transition programs are ready to go. I would like to acknowledge the teachers and teaching teams for the thinking and planning that has gone into these programs.
Supporting our girls to build their resilience
A recent article I read, highlighting some of the findings of the Skillsroad survey, indicated that 74% of girls (aged 15-24) “reported feeling levels of stress, sadness or anxiety which effected how they studied, worked or lived”. As a mother of three daughters, and a woman leading a community responsible for over 1000 girls, studies of this type always make me think about how we can positively support our girls experiencing these emotions. It is not the absence of stress, sadness or anxiety that is our aim – a mix of these emotions in our lives is normal. It is the capacity to deal with these emotions so that their impact is limited and that they do not influence our behaviour in an ongoing way. The same article goes on to offer parents four practical measures to support our girls to self-regulate their emotions and to build the capacity of our young women to draw on the tools that support positive mental health well into their bright futures. I have shared my own summary of these, drawing on some of the messages we have been sharing with you and our girls through our social and emotional learning curriculum.
1. Show, don’t tell
Lead by example. Our own modelling of how we self-regulate our emotions and respond to problems that arise will have the biggest impact on how our girls will deal with their own emotions and problems. Our capacity to draw on our emotional intelligence will provide the best example for our girls that most issues and problems can be overcome.
2. Find solving strategies, not solutions
Put simply, let’s arm our daughters with the strategies they need to find a solution, rather than stepping in and solving a problem for them. I have written about this in previous editions of the Iona. This is integrally connected to resilience. A growing body of research suggests that our young people will be less able to cope with the demands that will face them in adult life if they do not learn how to manage failure and setbacks, especially when we are around to love them through the failures, giving them the strong message that they are always enough.
3. Have courageous conversations
One of the hardest things I have had to do as a parent is to face the topics that make me uncomfortable or put me in a position where there is potential conflict or tension with my daughters, and I have failed with this on many occasions. Our girls need to learn that they can trust us, that we will be there no matter what, and that we trust them to make smart decisions because we are in conversation with them.
4. Praise effort, not outcome, image or appearance
This is linked to the research around growth mindset, which your daughters should be able to tell you a lot about. Let’s provide feedback to them about what they have some control over – their effort, responses, organisation and relationships. Let’s communicate with them about the things that will make the most difference in their lives.
For a copy of the article follow this link. https://www.mamamia.com.au/parenting-teenagers-girls/