Powerful learners have a number of things in common and one of the most important ones is that they seek help when they need it. If you are struggling in aspect of your life, the best thing you can do is to reach out and ask for assistance. The worst thing you can do is to do nothing or pretend the issue doesn’t exist. For example, if there have been aspects of your learning this year that you have find difficult, or have fallen behind in, this last term of school before the end of the year is the perfect time to reach out for help.
Where can you find help when you are struggling at school?
If things in your life are upsetting you or stressing you this will affect your ability to learn effectively. Talk to your family, talk to your friends or other people you are close to or teachers you feel comfortable sharing with. However if you need additional support you can approach the counsellor at your school and they can give you some professional help or find someone who can help you with your specific problems. There are also lots of support agencies, for example Kids Helpline, a free confidential service: 1800 55 1800 or use the online service at www.kidshelp.com.au. It is much better to talk to someone rather than lock it all inside you.
SUBJECT SPECIFIC ISSUES
If you are finding a particular subject difficult, or have fallen behind, the first place you should seek help should be your classroom teacher. Firstly, ask questions in class as problems arise. If you find you have too many questions that it is not practical to ask them all in class, then ask your teacher if you can make a time to discuss the issues you are having outside of classtime. Teachers are happy to help students who do their best and are keen to improve. Other places you might be able to find subject-specific help are: books or extra textbooks in the school or local library, other students in the class, students in older years, other teachers at the school, family members, family friends. If you try all of these options and are still having problems, then you might consider looking for a tutor. Often ex-students from your school who are at university might be interested in doing some tutoring or even teachers at other schools. Your parents could ask your teacher if they can recommend anyone.
If you aren’t having trouble with a specific subject, but are finding learning for school in general difficult, the first people to talk to are your parents. You might like to write down your feelings or what you are experiencing so you can explain things to them clearly. Your parents can then help you decide what steps to take next. It is probably a good idea for them to talk to your teachers first to get their perspectives. They might make an appointment with one of the pastoral care staff like a Year Coordinator to discuss with you and your parents to talk through the issues you are experiencing. The school might also have learning support staff who can help you work out what your issues are and who the best people are to help you. If the learning support staff can’t help you, they will be able to refer you to outside services who can diagnose and address any learning issues you might have.
Learn more this year about how to improve your results and be more efficient and effective with your schoolwork by working through the units on www.studyskillshandbook.com.au - log in via the QACI Library Page on Sharepoint.