Each student journey is dependent on a number of factors: genetics, their parents’ means and interest in their schooling, their school of choice, external factors (which can be within the family, local, national or even global, as we learnt in 2020). Students might find themselves feeling helpless in the face of these factors, but there are many things that students themselves can control. I’ve put together a list of tips for students of things they can do to thrive at ESCA (or in any learning environment). They’re simple habits, which will help students grow into responsible, accountable, lifelong learners.
This doesn’t just mean being present in your lessons - it also means actively engaging in your lessons.
During the lessons, make sure you are asking questions to help you understand the work better. Approach your teachers for help if you don’t understand. While your teachers are excellent educators, they are not psychic - they don’t know what you don’t understand unless you ask them.
Practice the ESCA values:
- Empathy - remember that you don’t always know what everyone else is going through. Be kind. Try to understand the perspectives of others.
- Solidarity - look for ways to support your peers and use your strengths to help others.
- Courage - be brave. Speak up for yourself. Speak up for others. Push yourself beyond your comfort zone (nothing grows there anyway!)
- Accountability - take responsibility for your role in any situation. Do what is expected of you. Be excellent in your work and in your behaviour (and own up and accept consequences if you slipped up).
Manage your time wisely
Use your Independent Studies time to work on understanding what your teachers have taught you during the lessons. Get your homework done during that time. This will save you from having to do it at home.
Make sure you have everything you need for your lessons to be able to do your work. Use a file or folders to keep work neatly in the right place. Use a diary or an app to help you remember what work needs to be completed, when assignments are due and when tests are being written.
Use a calendar (or several!) to map out your due dates and important events. Work backwards from this to help yourself prioritise what needs to be done first.
Communicate, communicate, communicate!
Your teachers, phase head and student support teams are all in place to make sure that your needs are being met. When we know, we can help find solutions!
Be your beautiful self
True belonging happens when you are courageous enough to show up as your authentic self. Nobody at ESCA expects you to be anyone else. The feeling of liberation that comes from being your true self gives you tremendous energy to tackle any other challenges that each day might throw at you.
Ask for help
The human journey is a difficult one, and nobody can survive it alone. Learn to ask for help - it does not make you appear weak. It’s solution-finding stuff! You’re not in this alone.
Strive for excellence!
Every person’s idea of excellence is individual. Get to know your strengths and weaknesses, and work every day on small habits to improve your shortcomings and extend your strengths. It’s the small changes that make a big difference in the long run. Yes, you can!