Monday August 22 will see a perfect storm of cold, grumpy and unmotivated students, according to a recent survey.
The survey, conducted by Resilient Youth Australia, involved more than 91,369 students across 600 communities, and found that week 7 in Term 3 will see the biggest drop in energy and motivation than any other time of the year.
The organisation’s director, Andrew Fuller, who works with hundreds of schools around Australia, even suggests that students be allowed to stay at home to offset the emotional slump.
“Teachers will often roll their eyes when I ask how they find week 7, Term 3. They are often tired, time poor, sleep disturbed and worn out,” Fuller told the Herald Sun.
“Students are starting to get a bit ragged, they are tired, cranky, it’s cold, they spend less time outside. There’s more behavioural issues. It’s a trend I’ve noticed through the years.”
Fuller added it was important to create “rituals of celebration” in times of flagging energy levels, and has helped schools plan festivals and concerts.
Victorian Association of State Secondary Principals (VASSP) president, Judy Crowe, agreed with Fuller, saying the combination of cold weather, sickness and lethargy is bound to make the start of Term 3 a difficult one.
“The weather has an impact in term 3, it’s cold and miserable, there’s sickness and more absenteeism,” she said.
“There’s not the excitement of the beginning of the school year, they haven’t got an end in sight, and there are different dynamics.
“In many schools, if it’s wet you have to keep them inside and they are not getting as much vitamin D. But teachers work hard no matter what to keep kids engaged in learning.”