One of the great joys of being in the Middle School is the overwhelming feeling that we are a part of an inclusive and supportive community. Although we are all very different, most of us see the best in each other and, when we deviate from this, we have wonderful community members who support us getting back on track. Term 2 can traditionally present some real challenges: colder weather, key assessment tasks and reporting, the novelty of the new year is over and the fact that it can be dark and foreboding before we even get home – this can conspire to make the term a difficult journey. When times are tough what usually gets us through are the people around us that make us feel good, call us on our behaviour and support us making good choices. We are so lucky to work in a community where you do not have to travel too far to get a sympathetic ear, supportive advice, a laugh, a distraction, or a solution. More than ever, we need to celebrate and recognise the good people, the people who light the way and show us how to be the best version of ourselves.
Seeing the best in people is such a wonderful trait to have. There is nothing better than being around an ‘energy giver’ rather than an ‘energy taker’. As significant adults in kids’ lives, it certainly helps if we can be a big part of the solution to challenging times and not the cause. As is often the case in Term 2, we have a very busy couple of weeks with NAPLAN, APS winter sport, Carey Literature Festival, a fourth lockdown, upcoming Winter Sports Day, finishing off key assessment items, Middle School music camp and rehearsals for Strictly Ballroom. Juggling all this requires lots of organisation, flexibility and a great deal of positivity. During the challenges of the last couple of weeks, it has certainly been wonderful to have the support to our amazing staff and pastoral teams.
As we move towards the end of the semester and into a well-deserved holiday period, the following are some key concepts that might be helpful in uncertain times:
- Connect to the moment – be mindfully present when you are engaged with kids.
- Be involved – actively involve yourself in activities and be proactive to help deal with issues .
- Be prepared – be organised, support kids to plan ahead.
- Be creative – use lists, diagrams, concept maps, thinking tools.
- Be strong – dig deep and be courageous, persistent and positive.
- Hold strong to your values – hold kids to account on their behaviour.
- Monitor screen time – setting strong messages about screen time and social media access.
Supporting an understanding the complexity of the world is a hallmark of the Carey experience and certainly supports our values of caring for others and contributing to those in need. The Year 9 C-Change TEDtalk activity is a big part of our understanding and outreach experience in the Middle School journey. Across Year 9, students are researching and exploring a wide variety topics, ideas, organisations, foundations and charities. The object of this project is threefold: to enable students to make connections to an issue of interest and create awareness of the needs of others, to develop an inspiring presentation on their topic, and to support kids in developing planning and project management skills.
I hope all families have a chance to rechange over the break and enjoy the opportunity to spend some time in the outdoors, albeit rugged up I suspect.
Head of Middle School