Education has a natural flow that continually brings the excitement of ‘the new’ to all involved. It could be a parent sending their five-year-old off for Day One, a Grade 6 student about to make the journey to the Senior School, or a teacher walking into the first class of a new academic year. Nothing stands still!
What is that makes our school different, because different they most certainly are? It is the people: students and staff; it is the blend of convention and innovation. It is how we feed the fire without dying in its flames; it is where we emphasise the curriculum and the expectations we pass on to the students. More than anything else, the essence is in the quality of the relationships between all members of our community.
Teaching is a relational craft, and schools are a relational place. If we get it right, we enable young minds to gain flexibility, curiosity, and diversity in their interactions. We create intimacy and trust that enables them to question, initiate and lead. We show them values and allow them to grow in self-awareness as they start to unravel their beliefs and values.
The focus on the micro and macro relationship has interested me for many years—the effect of small changes on the big picture. While many thoughts pass through a mind almost concealed, others trigger specific vibrations that grow to resonate throughout a lifetime. All are interconnected and subtle changes of what might seem a minor variable can, as with the Butterfly Effect, bring about the vastly different outcomes on the broad canvas. In education, we need to work with detail to bring out the best in each of our students. This need to blend long-term goals and the details with individual needs is at the heart of my belief in education as the critical building blocks of our societies.