Wed, January 16, 2019

As the commencement of the 2019 school year looms on the horizon, as educators we pause to reflect on how fortunate we are to be called to this profession.  Teaching is not a job; it is a vocation; a calling.  The beautiful thing about our profession is that daily we have the opportunity to touch the hearts, minds and souls of literally hundreds of students. What nobler profession than that of teaching.

Teaching is a challenging, complex and rewarding profession.  It is a difficult craft to master and one that takes time and effort and energy and intelligence and feeling.  It is one that places children at the heart of the educational enterprise.  Great teachers embody the finest principles of our profession – the qualities of commitment, humaneness, enthusiasm, a fundamental love of children, excellent craftsmanship and above all, the knowledge that a teacher’s task is not an end in itself – but a means of communicating humanity.

I am so privileged to work with the calibre of teacher we have at Sheldon College – teachers who day in and day out model the 3L’s of teaching – Love, Laughter and Learning.  I thank them for never contributing towards mediocrity in our profession – for always aspiring towards high standards for both themselves and their students and for never wavering from that goal.  I thank them for providing an environment where children feel safe and happy to learn, content in the knowledge that here are a group of people who really care.  I thank them for daily making a difference in the lives of so many children.

But teaching is not a one-way street.  We remain in such a rewarding profession because every day children teach us some very special lessons in life.  Perhaps the most important is that what a child does in school, matters less than we think it does at the time.  What he or she becomes, matters totally.  This is in complete contradiction to our current obsession with how children perform in standardised testing regimes.  A child’s most important lessons can be learned or measured only decades after the school bell has ceased to ring. Therefore, the focus on all children during their schooling years should not be entirely on achievement, or parental or societal expectations, but on each child as a unique individual.  Working together, the school and the home have to power to extend every child’s 12 years of schooling into a positive lifelong experience.  In this way all of us share in the miracle.

Dr Lyn Bishop OAM
Founder and Principal/CEO