Like most of you, I've been watching events across the globe unfold in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak and wonder what the impact on our community here in Sunbury will be? So far, the only inconvenience has been a shortage of certain grocery items on supermarket shelves as a result of panic buying. Such behaviour, whilst driven by understandable fear, shows a lack of respect for the needs of others in our community, especially the most vulnerable and in need.
Respect for others is a key theme in our curriculum across all year levels and disciplines at Salesian College. We are challenged on a daily basis to celebrate the things that we have in common with one another and be respectful of our differences. In the classroom we are focusing on being inclusive and, among other things, our Respectful Relationships Program. Respect is one of those elements of culture that forms us as a community. What it means for our school culture is that everyone can feel they belong because of how they are treated and accepted each day. They can feel safe and therefore grow as learners and people in the school setting.
But respect is not a one-way transaction. It asks something of all parties: Parents, staff and students. The main enabling personality strength is self-regulation; how we manage our own response to daily life, to relationships and stressors. It asks us to accept responsibility and take control, not seek to blame others or unreasonably hide behind excuses for our behaviour.
But a healthy school culture relies upon a high degree of consistent compliance with its expectations and understanding – by all. Teachers are really focusing this year on aligning their practice with the expectations of our CLEF – “A Learning Community committed to Excellence in Learning”. They are accepting responsibility for getting better personally at those expectations. It is for this reason that our staff are constantly looking at how they can best act to build community and at what sort of supports they provide to students. We are always looking at how to provide more targeted intervention programs to help students who may be struggling to be fully part of the school so that they and others can benefit more from membership of this great learning community.
Parents too have a responsibility to maintain our positive school culture and align with our CLEF. Some examples include:
It is one thing to have a good strategy for improving as individuals.
But, to improve as a school we need to build and maintain the right
culture for our efforts to bear fruit. Please support the work of our
staff and their teams when the opportunity comes your way. Like with the
Coronavirus outbreak, the choice is whether we will work together to
solve our problems (with Christian kindness) or having an 'every man for
himself' view (borne out of fear).