Billy Ryle: Students Should Regard ASTI/Government Dispute As An Opportunity

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Billy Ryle 1Guidance Counsellor, Billy Ryle, says students should regard the DES/ASTI difficulties as an opportunity not an impediment…

The 215,000 students who are at home at the moment due to nationwide second level school closures should regard the current impasse between the Department of Education and Skills (DES) and the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) as an opportunity rather than an impediment.

A settlement will eventually be reached between DES and ASTI and schools will reopen. In the meantime, students have an ideal opportunity to bring their studies up to speed. Those who are behind have a chance to revise and to get up to-date before their classes resume.

All students, particularly those sitting the Junior Cert and Leaving Cert exams in 2017, must put the midterm break behind them and activate a contingency study and time management plan immediately.

Continued below…

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• Commit to a number of hours study each day.

• Begin early when your mind is fresh and alert.

• Do a 9am/11am (2hr) session followed by an 11.30/1.30pm (2hr) session.

• Break until 3pm for lunch and some relaxation – active leisure if the weather permits.

• A third session follows from 3pm to 4.30pm (1.5hr) and then 5pm to 6.30pm (1.5hr).

• The next hour and a half is for dinner and relaxation.

• Exam candidates should then consider a final study session from 8pm to 10pm (2hr).

As there is no prescribed homework, prioritise the revision you need to do. A good system is to follow the subject timetable for the next day’s classes at school.

This approach gives you variety each day and an equal distribution of time to all your subjects. Work ahead on new course material when your revision has been brought up to-date. You might not understand everything you read but, at least, you’re breaking new ground.

For exam students, it’s all about doing past exam papers from now on. This is your opportunity to get a head start in that regard.

Study on your own in a room where you have peace and quiet. A table and a hardback chair adequate heating and lighting are basic requirements this time of year.

Don’t be distracted by texts, phone calls or music while studying. Organise your books and materials before you begin each study session to avoid having to leave the room.

Stay positive and be confident in your ability to work away on your own. Keep a good thought about yourself, be success orientated and enjoy some exercise to burn off any tension.

The present difficulties between DES and ASTI will be resolved, hopefully sooner rather than later. No student will be disadvantaged by the State Examinations Commission (SEC) as a result of industrial action.

The SEC is fair-minded, flexible and always has the best interests of candidates at heart. Put your mind at ease about that and make the days at home as productive as possible for yourself.

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