2020 Reflections and Confessions of a Catholic Primary School Principal to their Parent Community
PLEASE read this. You and your child are in my words.
At the end of this extraordinary year of life for us in the Valley, and for humankind, I have stopped to take a moment of reflection of somethings that I want to share with you about me and leading St Pat’s Catholic Primary School this year and in general. Perhaps you already know these things, but if you don’t, while I have a captive audience, I’d like to take this opportunity to share these things with you!
I live daily my belief that everyone is created in the image and likeness of God.
This is your child. This is every child. This is the child who is making lots of mistakes, and the child who makes few. This is the child your child likes a lot, and the one they don’t like much. This is our staff. This is also you.
I pray for you and your child daily. I pray that God’s blessings are with you always.
I often spend more time at work than at home.
This is not my plan, but this is my reality. I hope that the balance will shift.
I think about your children well beyond the school day and week.
Your children are in my thoughts a lot. When your child becomes a member of our school community they become part of the St Pat’s family. I lose sleep thinking about your children. I sometimes worry for them. I wonder for them. I plan for them. I create preferred days, weeks and futures for them.
I am humbled by the outreach of our students toward their peers who see and experience the world differently to them.
I am profoundly amazed and also comforted that we are growing more than tolerance, we are growing the capacity to HONOUR the other. I want this for every child. We work hard to grow this, and the fruits of our labour are evident in our everyday interactions, and we know, for some children it takes more time than for others, for some children it is their natural inclination.
I defend your child’s right to be a child.
They are not adults. They are learning about themselves and their world, their emotions and their needs. They are learning about life and how to be a learner and how to participate in the community called school. I want every child to leave our school with knowledge, skills and positive dispositions. More importantly I want them to be good human beings.
I defend your child’s right, and our expectation, that they will make mistakes.
Like we make mistakes. I have a great hope that they won’t make the same mistake twice. Some do, some don’t. I make mistakes just as you make mistakes. We all learn from our mistakes, we seek forgiveness and we move forward.
At every enrolment interview I ask prospective families who seek our school for their child, their reasons for choosing St Pat’s.
I am most inspired by many of the reasons. For people in our local context who desire to move their child to our school mid-primary I always encourage them to work it out where they are. I hope the other school leaders in our community do this. I am pro ‘working together to work it out.’
I am in the privileged position to be the keeper of many people’s worries and concerns as well as their hopes, dreams and aspirations.
I will work tirelessly to support individuals in our community to achieve their goals. This is students, this is staff, and this is you.
I expect 100% partnership with and between every parent/carer and staff member in our school for the holistic education of our children.
Our work as educators comes to fruition when we (home and school) work together. It takes a village to raise a child.
I lived in great hope that remote learning would raise the value of the teaching profession short, medium and long term.
St Pat’s staff are an amazing group of professionals deeply dedicated to their work and your children’s growth, development and learning. Teaching is both complex in its challenges and highly rewarding. It is so important that we elevate the teaching profession to its rightful place as one of the most important, influential and noble professions. Thank you for acknowledging to your child’s teacher the importance of their role in your child’s growth and development.
My hope for you as the 2020 year comes to fruition is that you have time to reflect on the lessons you have learned, and take these learnings with you into and beyond 2021. I hope you remind your children of their learnings and the resilience they have developed. I sincerely appreciate when people show gratitude for what we do each day at St Pat’s. I say thank you a lot. I pray that all families thoroughly relish time with loved ones at Christmas. May the presence of Christ be in your hearts and homes this Christmas.
Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.
This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel,
praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to
those on whom his favour rests.” Luke 2:11-14
Proudly and humbly leading and serving the St Patrick’s school community. Let’s look forward with hope to 2021.