Deputy Principal Report

February 19, 2021

by Deputy Principal, Mrs Elizabeth Ryan

Let’s get organised!

This year it is my pleasure to be teaching a Year 9 class.   After the traditional settling in period, giving all in the class the opportunity to learn their new timetable, know where their room is located and clarifying what they, in fact, need to bring to the class apart from themselves  I am reminded that it is not always the most academically gifted student that is the most successful.  Rather, it is the student who is organised and persistent. These two attributes are crucial for the successful student.

In an effort to reinforce this the College reintroduced the paper Diary in 2021.  Many argue we live in an electronic age where a diary can be embedded into our phones, smart watches and laptops so why revert to paper.  Fair question however, I would argue that at this very formative stage our students best develop the organisational skills required in life by learning to use a paper diary.  Why?

Firstly, you are less distracted. With the vast number of apps now embedded into our electronic devices it is easy to become desensitised to the beeps, pop ups and buzzes we receive.  Apart from reducing screen time, one tends also to become distracted by the other apps on the device so instead of the reminder prompting you to complex Ex 3 in Chemistry or to pack your PE gear you become side tracked checking snap chat and Tik tok!

Secondly, and more importantly, you remember things better.  You’ve probably heard this one and its true – writing stuff down actually helps you memorise it better.  But there is more to it than that.  Not only writing by hand makes us formulate our plans and to do better, it stimulates certain brain cells at the base of the brain to increase focus.  The Dominican University of California found that people who wrote down their goals, shared them with others and maintained accountability for their goals were 33% more likely to achieve them.

Third reason.  You are more motivated by writing your goals and to do lists because we are able to clarify our thoughts and mind on what we actually need to do.  Plus, we also have the added satisfaction of crossing things off our list!

And finally, it reduces stress.  Being organised and prepared reduces all the anxiety of worrying about what has not been completed, what was due yesterday and my personal favourite of having to ring Mum or Dad and ask them to bring in your folio or PE gear as your forgot it.

Parents, please invest the time of sitting with your son and working through the diary.  Encourage him to use it every day to form lists, reminders, add important dates and to check it in the evenings and morning to ensure that he is planned and organised for the day ahead.

Let’s try and develop this healthy habit as it will certainly help our boys to be more organised, motivated and productive.