Worth the Effort?
16 February 2018
Inner burn: the internal desire to achieve, succeed, do your best; an intrinsic motivation or drive to push oneself beyond the mediocre. Does your child have inner burn? And is it necessary? Last year’s HSC results were great. There were some excellent personal bests and some outstanding marks achieved. One of our students received an ATAR above 99. Exceptional. We discussed this as a staff. This student exemplified a hunger for success, driven to achieve, prepared to put in the hard work and determined to even sacrifice some things (like a job for money) to reach the end game. And we realised that although we fostered, we pushed and we prepared this student (and his cohort) for the HSC, it was about this hunger, this desire, that propelled the student forward. Each and every year I watch students pursue their passions – to varying degrees of success. And I am challenged when, despite serious pushing, prodding and promotion, I see students giving up, ditching homework or engagement at school for social media, the easiest option or the peer-accepted effort. The inner burn seems to be snuffed out for the path of least resistance. Why do we all let this happen? Or why do we have a group of students (on the whole) who struggle to find the motivation to truly be their best? We have study tips, suggestions for setting goals, rubrics for getting the best marks, opportunities to ask questions, time for specific help (like Step Up) and direction on how to get a top result in a test … all of which can deliver each student a set of fantastic grades but don’t always seem to – because not all our children seem to have that strong inner burn. I would love to see 2018 be a year where we (family and school) encourage all of our children to reignite their inner burn – to find their passion and pursue success in whatever endeavour. Yes, there might be setbacks or challenges, but that doesn’t stop us encouraging them forward or letting them know with a drive to achieve, they can push through and succeed. Worth the effort?
Head of Secondary, Avondale School