Principal’s Message

There was great joy and a welcoming spirit at the College on Monday as we celebrated the return of all our students. With balloons, bubbles and a little bit of music and dancing, there was additional jubilation on this day for Year 12 reaching a milestone of 100 Days. A sense of reconnection is beginning to flourish.

Talking to the teachers this week, I have been struck by the sense of gratitude within our community. So many of them have shared with me in delight comments from students and parents as to how grateful they have been for the efforts their teachers have put into online learning. I think many of us are emerging from this unusual time with a heightened sense of gratitude and how blessed we are.

Every day I witness parent acts of unconditional love for their children, and the commitment they have in supporting them on so many levels. The sacrifices parents make to provide the very best opportunities for their children are inspiring. Having navigated three sons through the ‘other side’ of university and my daughter traversing through to the ‘other side’ I want to say what we all know, parenting is not always the easiest of our responsibilities.

The reassurance I hope to offer on these matters is we are all far from being perfect (a word I struggle with) because we don’t always get it right. I have been reflecting on this and have been researching the more recent studies on effective parenting during this pandemic. I found that there was a plethora of resources and so much to choose from it became overwhelming. I preferred to draw from lived experience.

Too often, I hear loving parents with the very best of intentions, feeling as though they have failed through their mistakes. Parents often feel that they have to take drastic action and make significant interventions when their children feel anxious, unhappy or unloved. Current research seeks to reassure, that negative emotions are as important as positive emotions for a child to learn. Recognising when they are sad or happy, angry, or tranquil, frustrated or successful, befriended or unfriended is an important skill for every child to learn.

As parents our role is not to “save them” or solve these problems for our children, but to guide them as they discover their own solutions.  Obviously, we have to protect them from harm, but we also have to prepare them for their life and all the challenges this brings with it.

A positive from this pandemic is that many of our conversations have become less rushed and more meaningful. Spaces have emerged in days and nights that didn’t seem to exist previously. Sometimes this might have been confronting, but I believe such opportunity for self-reflection and conversation advances us spiritually and emotionally- a beautiful connectedness within families and now this transcends to reconnecting with our College family as the restrictions ease.

Let us all remember that as the significant adults in your child’s life, we are all going through this together, and we’ll come out of it together.  Support one another by communicating to each other so if you are going to say “No” you don’t feel like you are the only parent doing so. I’m sure some of you have already heard, “You’re the only one not letting me go. All my friends are going”. You won’t feel that isolation if you communicate with each other.

Our Parents & Friends Association is so important in easing the sense of isolation we might feel at some stage. Providing opportunities for parents to engage with the College and participate in their children’s education is both interesting, rewarding and sometimes a lifeline.

As children get older it is commonly assumed that they will be less comfortable with parents taking an active role in their College life. To a large extent this perspective is garnered directly from the children. The skill of successful parenting is to be able to remain part of the lives of our children while also giving the children scope, opportunity and space to grow without smothering.

Consistent parenting creates close families and helps create a worthy relationship between a child and their school. Our consistent commitment to our core values of Faith, Hope, Love Courage, Community and Justice will continue to be a significant contributor to the raising of the next generations of our children.

The balance is not easy, but I see many examples of parents who succeed. What I have learned and will continue to pursue is that the best outcomes are achieved when family, friends and College collaborate and are connected to achieve the best outcome we can for all. To mark inaugural College Captains Flag Post and aptly applied motto: Together for Tomorrow

 

Mrs Maria McIvor 
Principal