As everyone is aware, the academic year is divided into four terms. It is easy to get to this final term of the year and relax as the year draws to a close, but the final term is critically important for many reasons.
Fourth term is when final assessments occur for Year 12 students. The future might already be decided and secured by some students; however, final results still matter. It can be these final school results that are referred to when some key decision makers are making important decisions in the future. There is a tendency to believe that once students finish school, what occurred there no longer matters. But it does. Time spent at school is relatively short when considered across the span of one's life, but school experiences are unique and provide an important 'jumping off'' point for students' later academic, career and social lives.
For students in other year levels, fourth term provides an opportunity to review the year that has largely passed, reflecting upon what has (or hasn't) worked well throughout the year. Adjustments – especially with routines – can still be made and embedded before the end of the academic year. Fourth term assessments clarify what has been learned well throughout the year and what still needs to be learned before a new year begins.
Fourth term provides a summation of the year and experiences can highlight what still needs to be done – whether during term time or during the end of year holidays but certainly before the start of the next academic year if one is to optimize outcomes and academic results.
Fourth term is often disrupted by end of year commitments and activities, so it is best for students to start early, at the beginning of term, rather than wait until the end of the term to make changes.
Personal reflection, commitment and perseverance have been identified as critical skills for students to develop so it is great if this term provides an opportunity for these skills to be developed.
Students who reflect upon their daily practices and are flexible enough to make changes, can benefit enormously from making small, incremental changes that add up to create a significantly different outcome. Personal commitment to topics of interest can also result in exponential development, over time and this commitment needs to begin as soon as possible in order for the results to be experienced, over time. Persistence – especially in the face of adversity – has demonstrated long-term benefits for individual students. Good things usually take time to achieve, and persistence has been shown to have tremendous benefits for individuals. There are many benefits associated with using fourth term effectively.
© Michele Juratowitch