Advice to Parents of ATAR Kids from a Melbourne Teacher
I’m A Melbourne Secondary Teacher – Here’s My Advice to Parents of ATAR Kids
Welcome to the Danger Zone. The end of formal schooling for many teens, particularly those who are engaged in ATAR studies, can mean breakdowns, fights, disconnection from content, and tears. This can bring untold stress to families who are just trying to do what’s best for their kids but invariably end up getting it wrong every time.
This is a period fraught with tension and stress. But it does not have to tear your family apart. Read on to discover how you can claw back some peace and calm into your ATAR-centric home.
Work Closely with the School
Get in touch with your child’s level educator or better yet, their school career and pathways coordinator.
Lots of year 11 and 12 is full of ‘he said, she says’ when it comes to getting actual information on subjects, scores and student concerns. Working with the school means you’re hearing it from the horse’s mouth and you can avoid the late-night tears about deadlines, GAT sits, SAC extensions, SAC conditions and important dates and deadlines. Having that close relationship with the school removes uncertainty which can breed anxiety.
Introduce Calm and Meditation
Have your ATAR teen practice mindfulness and meditation outside of stressful times. There are many apps online and schools are introducing these practices as part of pastoral care. Have your child work on these skills in times of low stress so they can draw on them in times of greater anxiety. There is no way that an overly stressed child can expect to be able to have study input – it’s just physiologically impossible. Calm and consideration are what’s required, which means you have to watch your tone as well.
Likewise, encourage your child to take time away from their laptop. Get some fresh air, swim some laps, hit the gym, walk the dog, go on a family walk – all of these outside activities are instrumental in ensuring calm and composure.
Invest in Support for Study Skills and Content
This is potentially the best secret I can share. Many schools are told not to suggest tutoring, saying instead that the school can provide all of the educational needs.
This is a fallacy.
Teachers cannot be expected to provide one-on-one support for each of their students. They cannot (not for lack of trying, mind you) offer intensive support for each child. There are not enough hours in the day.
That’s why making an investment in the best Melbourne tutoring has to offer is the right move to make when it comes to your child’s undertaking of ATAR studies. One on one support, tailored lesson plans, study skills and a supportive relationship. You absolutely cannot go wrong.
But you didn’t hear that from me.