At High Performance Learning, we believe that teaching and learning has to be done with students and not to them. Our High Performance Learning Student Voice series are short blogs by students in HPL schools who want to share their experiences.
We want to thank Sophia for sharing her thoughts and the whole GEMs Royal Dubai School team for being brilliant teachers.
Hello everyone, my name is Sophia from GEMS Royal Dubai School and I’m going to be talking to you about a few High Performance Learning (HPL) skills I have recently demonstrated and applied in my learning during remote learning. Over the next few weeks, I will be, with great pride and pleasure, going to writing to you about a few HPL focuses, which are made up of VAA and ACP skills, I have showcased in my learning.
Last week I wrote about the topic resilience. Today, I thought we would stick to the topic of not giving up and staying strong so I have decided that today I’ll be talking to you guys about the VAA skill of perseverance. Let’s begin with a question. What does perseverance mean to you? To me, perseverance is the ability to keep going even if there are obstacles or barriers that hold you back from achieving your goal. I’ve had to use this skill regularly in all my subjects, especially when learning new and challenging topics. An example of a lesson where I had to persevere is when I was learning the topic of angles in Maths. Whilst participating in this broad lesson, I had to find out the values of many angles in various different ways but not all of them was a piece of cake for me. So, I had to use the skill of perseverance to make sure I kept going and didn’t give up. Hence, I received references from my peers, teachers and parents whilst practising on extra worksheets and rethinking the questions multiple times a day.
Eventually, I mastered the topic and am now able to teach my peers and classmates too. Furthermore, I have also had to persevere during the past few years in relation to my sports. Due to my personal health issues, I dropped out of many squads last year which was quite a turnaround compared to my previous years. Sport is one of my biggest passions and I wasn’t going to let that one year ruin it for me in the future. Therefore, I persevered and bounced back this year. I was focused during PE lessons, trained for days and soon I was back on track. Although, I wouldn’t have been able to do so without the help of my friends, family, the PE department and especially the medical team. It took many hard days of training and determination but most of all I had to persevere and eventually I got there in the end. I was able to accomplish several accolades I am proud of this year.
Another instance where I’ve had to use perseverance is whilst completing a mouthwatering VAA starter along with my class. During this task, we had to keep a delicious snack in front of us. It could’ve been a few chips, a cookie or maybe a slab of chocolate. I chose a chocolate chip cookie and laid it in front of me on top of a tissue. Next, we were asked to follow a series of instructions to tempt our taste buds. From eyeing my cookie, to taking a sniff, to even having an almost irresistible bite, I had to gain control of my actions. Therefore, oddly enough, I had to use my growing skill of perseverance. In my situation, my goal was to follow all the instructions and successfully have the outcome of myself not have eaten my cookie. The obstacles or barriers in this case were the instructions I was given. These instructions kept me from eating my cookie and they were tempting me to my limits. But, in the end, I was able to achieve the outcome that I'd set. I now know that perseverance is a vital life skill as it will help me achieve my goals although I may face challenges. Yet again, not all of us are natural born persevering learners but I do have a few tips for you. First of all, look to the future.
By doing this, you are able to see your end results and will realize how proud you’ll be of yourself. That is if you persevere and keep going. Hence, you are motivating yourself and not giving up because you want to have a high standard and quality piece of work to display to the people around you. Secondly,set targets. Setting targets and looking to the future are two abilities that are closely linked. By setting targets, you are picturing what you want your end result to be like. Therefore, you should try and persevere and not give up then you will successfully achieve that goal or target you’ve set. Whilst this is said, I understand that you may not achieve your goals during your first try, and many of us are caught up in this circumstance quite frequently, but it isn’t something to worry about. In situations as such, this is where your persevering skills and knowledge kick in. Hopefully, these tips will help you along your journey of becoming a high performing, persevering learner.
And there you have it - perseverance. Hopefully, you have a clearer understanding of the skill and will be able to use it wisely in your daily life. To end today’s write, I have yet another quote. This one comes from Oprah Winfrey, a famous, powerful woman. “Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness”. What this quote means is you should never stop trying. You may fail but as Oprah Winfrey says, it’s only a stepping stone to greatness. If you don’t fail or make mistakes, you’re not trying hard enough. Persevere, you don’t have to get to the top but try your best because your best is enough. Finally, I hope I have encouraged and motivated you. Remember to never give up and I’ll see you next week!