Posted 07 Apr 2020 in From the Principal
The “Right” To Do Difficult Things
One year ago today, I was commencing my Study Tour in Reggio Emilia. I am re-living each day of my Study Tour for the next six weeks as a way to re-appreciate this time-gift and to reflect too on what a different world we live in today.
On Day 1 of our Reggio Tour, we had started to explore the ‘Rights of the Child” as a centre-piece of reflection; my note page for 7th April, 2019 (exactly a year ago) highlighted the “The Right To Do Difficult Things” …
I wrote as Daniela Lanzi spoke:
“There is the memory of what has been and the responsibility to embrace our future trajectory. We want to tell you about 60 years of history – some of which we recall nostalgically but we must must also be nostalgic for our future.”
Being at school this week has been most different; an empty house is not a home. I hear staff talking and magpies and cars and trucks and the phone, but I don’t hear skipping and laughing and singing and music and performing and gleeful shouting and the chain on the gate rattling as it opens and closes, or thumping footsteps on my wooden veranda. I even miss opening my window just a tiny bit so I can listen in on the parent conversations outside the meeting room ( 😉 ).
The parts that are missing in our lives are very loud. But…. I also know that we are doing the right thing and collectively we are hearing that there is some movement in ‘flattening the curve’. For me, every handwash, physical distancing measure and ‘day in’ is a moment closer to the return of our freedoms and community (I doubt it will be a ‘return to our old normal’).
We will be hearing news soon about what Term 2 will be looking like and as a school, we feel that we are as ready as we can be for every eventuality. Today I walked around campus to see what our teams were doing and believe me – it was action-stations both on-site and for staff working from home.
PK and Kindy Teachers phoning and skype-calling home to individual families (and notice the book titles in Tomoko’s hands – reaching out with care and empathy through story).
Year 1 and 2 Teachers working on how to ‘live feed’ in addition to the resource collections they are assembling and distributing.
Based on feedback from parents in our ‘trial week’, Year 3 and 4 staff are moving to a platform (Microsoft Teams) that better reflects the needs of their parents and students and adds to the class tool bank.
Year 5 and 6 also adding additional layers to the Microsoft Teams Platform and seeking feedback with Felicity and Rhys (and assisting the Year 3/4s).
Middle School and College have run a comprehensive at-home program via TEAMS with scheduled LIVE events and at home check-ins twice a week. They have also tweaked presentations and packages based on family feedback. Today I caught them in a home/school team meeting.
Trish, Amanda and Ella have worked alongside students still attending school during this time and our Arts Team have been mapping out both individual class projects/provocations but also Whole School Focus in consideration of all ages for Wednesday focus days (Leslie and Nicole considering activities and groupings in this snap).
Rhys and Rory (and Matt and Kirsten) have been our main IT conduits with particular mention to Rory who has also been working on new reporting software via SchoolPRO.
In addition to the educational focus our Administration Team have also been working hard; navigating our financial waters and seeking to support the needs within our own community, development of virtual enrolment tours, new prospectus packs, finalising our audit, overseeing the Maylands’ build.
Our staff are giving HUGE and rising fully to the occasion. I have not heard ONE complaint or resentful comment about workload even though I KNOW the challenge has been very real for all and I can say hand on heart, I never feel I need to “check up” on any of our staff ‘working from home’ – other than to check on THEM … they are ALL IN – even when they face their own unique challenges as parents or carers in their diverse home and heart commitments.
They love your children, they love this community and they are all-in.
I am so, so proud and grateful for our community.
Bold Park Community School