The biggest challenge for parents is often just staying informed about what is really happening in the world of their teens. This is nowhere more true than in the use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs. Fortunately we have ready and free access to some of the best research in the world, and some of the wisest thinking, right here!
The Australian Drug Foundation provides an excellent set of free resources on its website. From this page you can access research, ideas and a great list of links to support and help agencies. Their page provides access to information and statistics that are current, reputable and – best of all – Australian based.
Their subsite provides all parents and carers need to intiate a conversation with their teens and pre-teens about the use of alcohol and other drugs.
ADF also has resources for young people.
“Billions fail to stop slide in world student rankings” The Australian Dec 4 2013
Billions have been spent on facilities and technology for schools, and student performance has gone backwards. Class sizes have diminished, teachers have mandatory ongoing professional development, and student performance has gone backwards. The slide in the ability of Australian school students to learn will continue until someone shines a light on the proverbial pachyderm in this room and we as a nation begin to aggressively deal with it. The primary factor that undermines school based learning in Australia it is the rapid increase of general disengagement by parents in their children’s lives.
An ATAR says what you achieved at high school; it is essentially only useful for your first year out of school – it will get you into a uni course or into a job. After that your progress is entirely determined by your performance.
In many ways even more important than your ATAR or “leaving certificate” is your reference. This says who you were at high school: it highlights your habits and character, the things that will determine the progress of the whole of your life. This article puts this in perspective from the point of view of a Vice Chancellor
Such a sad story, but perhaps the glamour and tragedy could be used to make teens think twice. This is a story that every new driver should read. Model Loses life while talking on phone
In the words of Harold Arlen it’s time to ‘accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative’ in thinking about teen behaviour.
I have always thought that we (meaning those of us who speak to and about teenagers) are far too focused on the negative statistics. Promiscuity, suicide, bullying, drug and alcohol abuse are easy attention grabbers and make wonderful PowerPoint slides because they have such frightening consequences. No one wants to think about, let alone experience, having a teenager hurt by any of them.
Don’t we wish we all had 1) the creativity and 2) the time to do stuff like this
Saint Stephen’s College on the Gold Coast is having enormous success using a Facebook page as a real time news and information resource for a year level. The page was set up early in 2012 with the year 11 group. It quickly became the central resource for all information and announcements as well as a forum for affirmation and encouragement for students. The page continues in 2013 with the year 12 cohort.
Toowoomba State High School principal, Chris Zilm, is thrilled with the success of the Vivo program. This web based system allows teachers to award points to students’ accounts – to affirm positive behaviour, as rewards for quiz and test performance, as incentives, etc. Students can then use their points to purchase items from the Vivo store. For more about Vivo: https://www.vivomiles.com.au. For more about the way it is being implemented at TSHS please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org or 1300 795 030) and we will forward your details to Chris.