Nurturing Our Students
Around our school, in the classrooms and offices, I can sometimes be a ‘fly on the wall’.
Oh, I should explain the expression “fly on the wall”. Being a ‘fly on the wall’ means being an unnoticed, unobtrusive observer. Just like a sneaky housefly will sometimes quietly wait on a wall, linger on a lintel or watch from a windowsill.
Just this morning I unobtrusively joined the staff devotion meeting of our senior school department. Staff devotion times are held before the children and teachers start their lessons. Teachers and other staff gather in a room to ensure they are ready for the school-day. Staff read the Bible together, they pray for our students, and they pray for you, our students’ families. It is a gently beautiful time of emotional and spiritual preparation for our workday.
During the senior school staff devotion time this morning, one of the teachers was leading the conversation. He was giving collegial guidance and made the following comment: “We are not teachers because we know a whole lot of ‘stuff’, we are teachers because we are passionate about seeing our students reach their potential.”
I know you are immensely pleased to hear that our teachers think that way.
How terrific that this teacher, and his colleagues see their role as not merely accumulating knowledge and then conveying that knowledge. Rather, they see their role as bringing out the best in their students. They see their role as setting up students for optimal learning. Their role is to nurture learning and nurture their students towards learning, and through their learning.
Knowledge matters, of course it does. But knowledge is not in itself, our objective. Knowledge is merely one of the tools that teachers use. Our objective is nurture. Our objective is guided growth and directed development. Our objective is improving learning outcomes for the whole child.
Parents, let me encourage you that partnering with our teachers is a very smart move. See yourselves as partners with the teachers, because the thing that they want for your children is the same thing that you want for your children. Working together, we have our best chance of reaching great goals.
David Gleeson, Principal