“Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles; it takes away today’s peace” Author unknown
I have been reflecting on the FOBISIA conference again last week in Kuala Lumpur. There was amongst the numerous speakers one standout guest for me, who spoke as keynote speaker and conducted workshops. He was Dick Moore; he possessed a wealth of experience to share – his sole purpose to provide guidance and leadership to schools to create environments where staff, students and school leaders can thrive.
Dick Moore’s own story is inspirational; having suffered personal tragedy within his own family several years ago he has become a passionate advocate of wellbeing, student welfare and helping to develop inner strengths and character that builds resilience in young people and adults. The World Health Organisation states that worldwide 1 person commits suicide every 40 secs – shocking statistics indeed, and so sad for families, friends and individuals concerned. Every study indicates that it is the early start in building warm relationships of nurture, support and unconditional love that help young people find the confidence they need to deal effectively with uncertainty, doubt, perhaps even failure, and to build the skills base to deal with the vagaries of life. As educators and parents, we should not be seeking to remove circumstances that create an environment in which young people never encounter difficulty. Instead we should be creating environments where it is safe to learn how to fail. How does a young toddler learn to walk? By falling down and getting back up again. And yet around the world, we have such a view that toddlers must never fall down. But this is surely how they learn. The key is to create safe spaces emotionally where it is acceptable to learn through trial and error, through some sense of adversity and uncertainty – to be able to bounce back from it.
Already we have wellbeing sessions for staff and students and will continue to build these into the fabric of our school life. Through activities, in and out of class, like charity work, trips week, through academic challenges, every child has the opportunity to learn emotional resilience – the vital skill of being able to bounce up again after a temporary setback.
Parents should be aware that this coming Sunday begins the CIS/WASC joint Accreditation visit. We welcome the nine visitors to our school, all of their educators in other schools around the region. They will be coming into classes from Monday to Wednesday, examining our systems, procedures and information flow in how we build our community. It is the culmination of several years of hard work. The children and staff should just continue as normal if they have a visitor to their class. The report will be presented probably in January, as it takes 4 to 6 weeks to finalise and make available to the host school. We look forward to sharing the key points with our school community in due course.
Have a wonderful weekend all.