Prior preparation and planning | College Vice Captain | Joel Snell

I still haven’t started my English IA3. I have been procrastinating about putting pen to paper for my short story for the past week. Avoiding the inevitable once again, I turned to write my Captains’ Corner. However, after rereading my last Captains’ Corner, the realisation dawned on me that while I have turned away from one story, I have landed straight into another by writing this article.

Although a short story seems like a simple task, it falls under my umbrella of overcomplicating everything, dismissing each of my perfectly acceptable ideas, and searching for something more. With an inability to plan, let alone write a short story in a week, based on almost anything my heart desires, is almost incompetent. And yet, while I write this article on the eve of Years 7 and 9, completing an unknown writing task, as part of their NAPLAN, under exam conditions for 42 minutes, it truly makes my tail chasing and procrastination look pathetic.

Here is where my underlying message for this article lies. While I can write about almost anything, a different challenge is placed upon the young men in Years 5, 7 and 9. A challenge with no guarantees of writing style and no certainty around the topic. But in those classrooms on Wednesday morning, approximately 500 individual responses were developed. While I remain in double English a few rooms away, hoping to achieve a similar result (although looking at my track record over the past week, it probably won’t happen).

Our freedom of choice is the key difference between our task as Year 12 English students and the Years 7-9 NAPLAN students. And for the first time, I admit, I don’t like being free. Our timetables at school offer structure. It is drilled into us almost every day; structure is important. Taking the time to put together a plan, whether for the term, week, or just that night, will provide focus and understanding for the task at hand. Increasing our productivity and working smarter, not harder. The structures that we are provided, whether that be a Year 9 NAPLAN stimulus paper or the timetable for a typical Wednesday, ensures that, as students, we remain focused on what is important. For the next week, I call on everyone to write a plan for their homework and study, with as much detail as time allocations or just a simple to-do list. This planning will pay back ten-fold, and even I might work my English IA3 into my schedule tonight.

I hope that our Years 5, 7 and 9s have as stress free a week as possible and go well in their NAPLAN tasks.

Dare to go Beyond